UPDATE: Two charged with murder in stabbing death of Doug Presseau in downtown Chilliwack

No charges in second of two murders July 7

Two individuals appeared in Chilliwack provincial court Monday charged with second-degree murder for one of two homicides on July 7 near Five Corners.

Kirkland Joseph Russell and Victoria Sherri Purcell are each charged with one count of murder and one count of assault with a weapon. The two remain in custody and have been since July 22.

Russell wore a blue and black camouflage shirt when brought into courtroom by a sheriff. He smiled, winked, blew kisses, and made several gestures to a female in the gallery.

Purcell appeared separately and was wearing a black-hoodie. She appeared to wipe tears away during the brief appearance.

Russell was read a list of 15 names, including Purcell, who he is not allowed to contact. Purcell had a 14-name no-contact list read to her.

Earlier in the afternoon, Mayor Sharon Gaetz was with Chilliwack RCMP Supt. Deanne Burleigh for a briefing at the Chilliwack detachment by Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) spokesperson Cpl. Meghan Foster.

Foster had no new details beyond what has already been reported as the matter is now before the courts. She did officially release the names of the two deceased males, Doug Presseau and Steven Drage.

Russell and Purcell are charged in the killing of Presseau, but no one has been arrested nor have charges been laid in connection with the death of Drage.

Both men were stabbed to death at around 10 p.m. on July 7. One stabbing occurred in or near the old Empress parking lot at the corner of Young and Yale roads, the other down Princess Avenue. When police arrived on the scene, three individuals were found with stab wounds. The two men succumbed to their injuries. The third individual, reportedly a woman, was brought to hospital, treated and has since been released.

At the briefing Monday, Foster read a statement issued by Presseau’s family.

“Doug was a beautiful and imperfect man, much loved by his only son, his partner, his little brother, his parents, his extended family and his countless close friends,” the statement said, in part. “His sudden and tragic murder has torn a gaping hole in all of our hearts and lives and into the very fabric of this community.”

One witness to the altercation on July 7 told The Progress that both men killed were innocent bystanders who attempted to intervene to stop assaults on other individuals.

When asked about the reports that the men were possibly Good Samaritans, Foster wouldn’t say.

Burleigh addressed the issue of safety in Chilliwack, saying there was a spike in crime last year but that had gone down over the first two quarters of 2017.

She said there are more officers on the street, the drug force has grown, and the detachment has created a new “priority offender suppression team” to focus on those individuals who cause most of the trouble in the community.

“All of that is being done to address the spike that we saw in crime in the last year,” Burleigh said.

Gaetz, too, was asked about safety in the community and if Chilliwack was seeing an influx of individuals from other cities to the west. She pointed to the increased RCMP patrols and the addition of 10 new police officers hired as examples of how city hall is pushing to crack down on crime.

“The City of Chilliwack takes crime very seriously,” she said. “We are a growing community. The days of Leave it to Beaver are long gone.”

Burleigh reiterated the request that anyone who witnesses anything the night of the killings to contact police.

“This is important for the community, but most importantly it is for the family of Steven,” she said.

Russell, 34, has an extensive criminal history, according to Court Services Online (CSO), and Purcell, 29, has one charge of resisting arrest from 2007. Purcell is next due in court July 25, and Russell Aug. 1.

Anyone who saw or knows anything is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

[Ed. note: an earlier version of this story stated that Russell had “no criminal history” but that was based on a CSO search of “Kirkland Russell” rather than “Kirk Russell,” who are one and the same.]

 

JENNA HAUCK/ THE PROGRESS Cpl. Meghan Foster, IHIT media relations officer, speaks during a news conference Monday outside the Chilliwack RCMP Detachment regarding the double homicide that happened near Five Corners on July 7.

JENNA HAUCK/ THE PROGRESS Mayor Sharon Gaetz speaks during a news conference Monday outside the Chilliwack RCMP Detachment regarding the double homicide that happened near Five Corners on July 7.

Shane MacKichan photo Chilliwack RCMP on scene at a July 7 evening stabbing downtown that left two people dead.

Jenna Hauck/ The Progress A parking lot in downtown Chilliwack remained behind police tape Saturday morning following a stabbing Friday night that left two people dead and another injured. IHIT is investigating.

A parking lot in downtown Chilliwack remained behind police tape Saturday morning following a stabbing Friday night that left two people dead and another injured. IHIT is investigating. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Langley School District Foundation volunteers tackle wrapping projects of all sizes, shapes

This year’s wrap money goes to food and homeless initiatives.

Cold nights mean homeless turned away from Langley shelter

The Gateway of Hope shelter has had send some people to other shelters as they ran out of room.

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Many turn out for Langley neighbourhood celebration

The second annual Brookswood Night of Lights on Dec. 8 kicked off the holiday season.

Langley RCMP seek man wanted for drug charges

David Main was last seen living in Langley City.

VIDEO: Hundreds line up at Langley farm for pancakes and a chance to help

The 14th annual Krause Berry Farm breakfast with Santa raised almost $4,700.

Liberal Hogg wins South Surrey-White Rock byelection over Conservative Findlay

B.C. riding to be represented by non-conservative for first time in decades

Six-year-old boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick Sooke boy asks government to help fund treatments

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Be ladder safe both at work and home

WorkSafeBC wants you to keep safe while hanging those Christmas lights this year

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Red Scorpion associates cuffed in drug-trafficking bust

Kamloops RCMP lay charges in connection to Red Scorpion drug trafficking ring

BC Ferries adds extra sailings for Christmas

More than 175 sailings are being added, including 130 between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

Most Read