Family and friends gathered outside the Williams Lake RCMP detachment Sunday evening (Oct. 2) as they mourned the death of 21-year-old Surrance Myers.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Yunesit’in councillor Rosalie Montgomery, who lead a candlelight vigil outside the detachment Sunday evening.
Myers’ father, Casey Myers, told Black Press Media he received a call from RCMP Saturday evening (Oct. 1) informing him that his son died in police cells in Williams Lake.
He and his partner Sonya wiped away tears as the more than 100 mourners sang and drummed for the family, which also included Surrance’s mother, his siblings and many more.
Indigenous leaders addressed the crowd, noting they were there to support the family but that they also wanted answers. They pointed out the death occurred just a day after National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremonies.
As of Sunday evening Casey said he didn’t know why his son was in custody prior to his death or what happened to him.
RCMP did not immediately return calls for comment.
Casey confirmed they were told the Independent Investigations Officer of B.C. will be investigating the death.
He described his son as funny, who had ambition and was saving for a new truck.
He was raised at Yunesit’in and Williams Lake, played hockey when he was younger and graduated from high school in Williams Lake a few years ago.
“I sure miss him.”
Yunesit’in Chief Lennon Solomon said the death doesn’t make sense.
“He was really trying to make a life for himself … he was constantly working,” said Solomon. “He was so proud of his jobs.”