The brother of one of the victims of a deadly shooting spree in Langley, B.C. on Monday, says he had a difficult life, but was working hard on turning it around.
Paul Wynn, known to many in Langley as ‘Small Paul,’ was gunned down around 3 a.m. outside Creek Stone Place, a supportive living facility on 201 street. He had just turned 60.
“The housing society group, the one in Langley where he was shot and brutally killed, they saved his life,” Paul’s brother John Wynn told Global News in an emotional interview.
“He was not homeless. He had a beautiful home … he didn’t deserve to go out this way.”
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The Wynns grew up in Surrey’s Whalley neighbourhood, where John said Paul excelled at school and was well known and liked.
“He was amazing. He was the God-child of our family. Everyone knew him. He worked hard from day one,” John said.
“He was just just unbelievable. Everyone – ‘Oh you want me to fix your engine? Boom I’ll build your engine. I’ll do you brakes.’ Anything. It’s how we were raised. To take care of other people.”
Paul eventually worked his way up to management with a food supply company, had a son and appeared to be “set for life,” John said.
That was before addiction tore his life apart.
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“That was it, his life changed. We tried everything to help him, when he was living on the streets,” John said. “We lost contact with him, and he lost everything he lived for.”
The family reconnected with Paul in recent years and helped get him into the Creek Stone facility about three years ago, where he stabilized and was improving his life, John said.
“Everyone in that facility, he helped all of them. They all loved him. Paul would give anything off his back to help anyone. He was doing great, he was a poster child for sure,” he said.
“Of course, he was not ever going to be in the situation we are because his brain is just destroyed, but he still was doing good, he was helping out, he was on disability, he had a home, he had a kitchen, a shower, a bathroom, everything, just like us.”
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Many key questions remain in the shooting spree that left Wynn dead, but police have identified the suspect as Jordan Daniel Goggin, 28.
Police believe Goggin shot his first victim, a woman, near the Cascades Casino around midnight. She remains in critical condition in hospital. Wynn was the second victim, followed by another fatal shooting at the Langley bus loop around 5 a.m.
According to police, Goggin shot a man in the leg near the Langley Bypass and 200th Street, before he was engaged by police who shot him dead.
John said he learned of his brother’s death from staff at Creek Stone Place. He said his brother, who was engaged in a variety of projects, was working on a garden patch when he was killed.
“This individual came up, talked to my brother, ‘Do I know you? No, I don’t know you.’ Tried to get into the building. Couldn’t get into the building, walked to my brother and shot him point blank,” he said. “From what I hear, he literally emptied the entire clip in his gun into my brother.”
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Homeless advocates have told Global News at least two of the victims were unhoused people, a possibility supported by personal items seen at the scenes of the shootings.
Around the time of the shootings, police issued an emergency alert suggesting the shooter was targeting “transients,” though police have since been reticent to suggest the shooter’s motive was to kill homeless people.
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John said he doesn’t believe the killer was after the homeless, but suggested instead that he “just snapped.”
“I think he was just on his couch one night, he had too much to drink or whatever, who knows what the story is, and he just got in his car and he took off,” he said.
“Whoever got in his way. That’s my opinion.”
In the wake of the tragic incident John said the provincial government needs to “step up” and do more to help people with mental health problems.
He said he will also be starting a mental health society in his brother’s name to try and fill some of the gaps in government services. In the meantime, he is left with memories, including of the last voicemail Paul left for him.
“I was kicking myself today, I deleted the message. I wish I never did. The saddest part is I could have done more and been there for him more but I wasn’t. But if I keep holding that more, it’s going to kill me more.”
-With files from Travis Prasad