Kamloops murder was result of gang fight
A gang dispute was at the centre of Tuesday afternoon's murder in a downtown Kamloops schoolyard, according to police.
At a press conference on Wednesday (March 23), Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said 23-year-old Archie LePretre and his cousin were attacked by three men at about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday while playing basketball outside Stuart Wood elementary.
Mounties believe the cousins were approached by a trio of men wearing bandanas over their faces.
"Following a brief verbal exchange, the two young men were attacked by the three suspects who were armed with knives and a baseball bat," Learned said, characterizing the scene as "a violent donnybrook."
Mounties have linked LePretre and his cousin, who has been identified only as a 23-year-old Kamloops man, to a "known street gang."
"Police have established that Archie LePretre and his cousin were victims of a focused, targeted, gang-related attack," Learned said.
"The suspects are believed to be from a known rival gang."
LaPretre's aunt, Wanda Tremblay, spoke briefly to the media at Wednesday's press conference.
"If anybody has any information or anything that will help us to find the individuals who did this to him, please come forward to help our family," she said.
Learned said the exact cause of death won't be known until investigators receive the results of an autopsy, which was slated to take place on Wednesday. He did say, however, that both LaPretre and his cousin sustained "blunt-force trauma" during the altercation.
Four additional Mounties from the RCMP's southeast district major-crimes section have been brought in to help out in the investigation.
All three suspects are believed to be in their early 20s.
The first is described as a native man standing five-foot-eight and weighing between 220 and 230 pounds. He was wearing a black hat.
The second is described as a native man standing five-foot-six to five-foot-seven and weighing between 220 and 230 pounds.
The third is described as a native man, standing five-foot-eight and weighing between 180 and 190 pounds.
Anyone with information is asked to call Kamloops Mounties at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.