Accused double murderer Michael Philip Simard made his first court appearance at the Courtenay courthouse, via video Tuesday morning.
Simard, 42, appeared on television from the Vancouver Island Regional Correction Centre in Victoria.
Family and friends of the victims were in attendance at the courthouse, shaking their heads as Simard looked straight into the camera.
Around 3 a.m. Oct. 5, Comox Valley RCMP attended a residence on the 2300 block of Urquhart Avenue in Courtenay where a woman and man were found dead in the home.
Simard was transported to hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot injury.
Police confirmed Simard and the couple, identified by sources as Leanne Larocque and Gord Turner, knew each other.
Defence attorney Robert Miller told court he is acting as counsel while Simard works to arrange a lawyer. His next appearance is set for Oct. 13 by video.
Outside the courthouse, Larocque’s parents – Ron and Barb Kelly – surrounded by friends and family, offered condolences for all families involved.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to Gord’s family and we’re sorry for what Mike’s family is going through as well,” read Barb from a prepared statement.
The statement went onto express how the family lost “… our ray of sunshine, … our daughter, a mother, a grandma, a sister, an auntie, a cousin and a friend and a co-worker. Leanne enjoyed life so much, and was looking forward to spending time with her kids and being a grandma. She was so excited for this, and [this] has left us all numb.”
The investigation is ongoing, with assistance from the Comox Valley RCMP Forensic Identification Section and the BC Coroners Service. A second man who was arrested at the scene was released without charges.