Alan Schmegelsky, father of Bryer Schmegelsky, poses for a photo during an interview with The Canadian Press in Mill Bay B.C. on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. RCMP have said that 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky are suspects in the shooting of Lucas Fowler of Sydney, Australia, his girlfriend Chynna Deese of Charlotte, N.C., and the death of another man who has yet to be identified publicly. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Laura Kane

Father of suspect in 3 B.C. deaths expects son will go out in ‘blaze of glory’

Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod are suspects in three deaths in northern B.C.

The father of a suspect in the deaths of three people in northern British Columbia says his son is in “very serious pain” and he expects a nationwide manhunt will end in the young man’s death.

Alan Schmegelsky says his son, 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, had a troubled upbringing. He struggled through his parents’ acrimonious split in 2005 and his main influences became video games and YouTube.

“A normal child doesn’t travel across the country killing people. A child in some very serious pain does,” Schmegelsky said in an emotional interview Wednesday in Mill Bay, B.C., near his home in Victoria.

Mounties have said Bryer Schmegelsky and his longtime friend, 19-year-old Kam McLeod, are suspects in the deaths of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, and another man whom police have said they haven’t identified.

The bodies of Fowler and Deese were found along the side of a highway in northeastern B.C. on July 15. Four days later, the unidentified man’s body was found near the teens’ burned-out truck several hundred kilometres from the first crime scene.

Police initially treated the teens as missing, but announced they were suspects after they were spotted in northern Saskatchewan. The manhunt stretched into northern Manitoba when a burned-out car the teens were travelling in was found near the community of Gillam.

READ MORE: SUV stolen by suspects in B.C. deaths found torched in Manitoba

READ MORE: Alberni teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Alan Schmegelsky said he expects his son will die in a confrontation with police.

“He’s on a suicide mission. He wants his pain to end,” he said, breaking down into tears. “Basically, he’s going to be dead today or tomorrow. I know that. Rest in peace, Bryer. I love you. I’m so sorry all this had to happen.”

Even if his son is caught, his life will be over, the father said.

“He wants his hurt to end. They’re going to go out in a blaze of glory. Trust me on this. That’s what they’re going to do.”

READ MORE: Father of teen suspect in B.C. deaths: ‘I’m sitting at home worrying about my son’

Schmegelsky said he and his wife separated when their son was five. She moved with the boy to the small Vancouver Island community of Port Alberni, where he met McLeod in elementary school and they quickly became inseparable best friends.

They were “everyday, good kids” who didn’t get into trouble, but his son had problems at home and, at 16, briefly moved to Victoria to live with him, Alan Schmegelsky said. The boy then returned to Port Alberni to live with his grandmother.

“He hasn’t been nurtured. He doesn’t have a driver’s licence. He never learned to ride a bike. He craved love and affection,” he said. “His influences haven’t been good. His influences have been YouTube and video games.”

He loved strategy and battle video games in particular, Schmegelsky said, and two years ago his son asked for an airsoft gun for Christmas. Schmegelsky bought it for him and the teen and his friends would “battle” each other in the woods, he said.

Schmegelsky said his son doesn’t own any real guns and doesn’t know how to drive. He worked at the Port Alberni Walmart after graduating from high school earlier this year, but was disappointed with the job and told his dad he was setting off to Alberta with McLeod to look for work.

The father recalled that his son bought a nice black suit with his second paycheque from Walmart.

“Now I realize it’s his funeral suit.”

READ MORE: ‘It’s incomprehensible’: Locals react to Port Alberni teens wanted for 3 deaths

Kam McLeod’s father, Keith McLeod, hung up when reached by phone on Wednesday.

In Gillam, the deputy mayor said residents are locking their doors earlier than usual. John McDonald said residents are used to seeing strangers come and go from Manitoba Hydro projects, but they’re paying closer attention to faces since the release of photos of the suspects and word Tuesday that they may be in the area.

Extra officers have been brought in for a search focused about 70 kilometres northwest of the town near Fox Lake Cree Nation, where Chief Walter Spence has said police would be patrolling.

Police set up a checkstop at an intersection on the only road leading into Gillam.

McDonald said if McLeod and Schmegelsky are there, they are in country known for its thick bush, swamps and pesky insects, and where it’s easy to get lost.

“If they are wandering around in the bush, they couldn’t have picked a worse time because the sandflies came out three days ago and they’re just voracious,” he said Wednesday.

“I’m quite sure they’ll be more than happy to have someone find them.”

READ MORE: Manhunt on for Port Alberni teens in three B.C. killings: A timeline of what we know

Laura Kane , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Manitoba Manhunt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Wet’suwet’en return to camps near Houston, Coastal GasLink workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

VIDEO: Conservation officers, farmer rescue two elk under collapsed haystack in Smithers

The conservation officers and farmer were surprised to find more than one elk underneath the haystack

Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion have blocked the Langford driveway

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

Budget 2020: B.C. unveils new grant for students, phases out debt-relief program

For the first time, diploma, certificate students qualify for yearly post-secondary grant

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

2020 Budget: ICBC shortfall continues ahead of new rate-reduction plan

ICBC operating with $91-million deficit for 2019-2020 fiscal year

Budget 2020: B.C. NDP taps top tax bracket for more revenue

Minimum wage set to pass $15 an hour by 2021

Budget 2020: Not much new for B.C.’s struggling forest industry

Focus on wood waste utilization, efficiency, ministry budget cut

Skull reconstruction gives new insight into unknown man found in B.C. cemetery

RCMP released a 3-D skull reconstruction of a man who was found dead on July 2, 1998

Forest industry supporters and convoy arrive at B.C. legislature in Victoria

Rally delivers petition in favour of ‘working forests’

Most Read