Mimi Kates (left) and Amber Culley (right) were killed by Eric Shestalo in Chilliwack on July 21, 2022. Shestalo was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Facebook photos)

Mimi Kates (left) and Amber Culley (right) were killed by Eric Shestalo in Chilliwack on July 21, 2022. Shestalo was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Facebook photos)

TOP STORIES 2022: Two women were shot and killed by ex-partner in Chilliwack

Amber Culley and Mimi Kates were murdered by Eric Shestalo in triple shooting on McNaught in July

It was the double-homicide in the summer of 2022 that shocked the community.

The tragic incident unfolded the morning of July 21 when two women and one man were shot in a home in the 9700-block of McNaught Road in Chilliwack.

One of the women died at the scene. The other woman was airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital where she later died. The man suffered non-life threatening injuries.

RELATED: 2 women killed, man injured following triple shooting on McNaught in Chilliwack

Suspect Eric Shestalo, 50, knew the victims. He fled the scene in his red Jeep YJ and police immediately started searching for him.

They found his Jeep at Bridal Falls on July 22, setting off a search by RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), supported by the RCMP’s Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment, the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, RCMP Air One, the Integrated Police Dog Services and the Integrated Tactical Support Group.

After being at large for four days, Shestalo was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot on July 25.

Chilliwack RCMP were on scene at McNaught Road just south of Yale Road on Thursday, July 21, 2022 for a shooting where two people were injured. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Chilliwack RCMP were on scene at McNaught Road just south of Yale Road on Thursday, July 21, 2022 for a shooting where two people were injured. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

The victims were 43-year-old Amber Culley and 49-year-old Mimi Kates. One was the mother of Shestalo’s child, and the other was a former girlfriend, according to friends and family of the victims.

A friend of one of the women stated on social media that Kates and Culley had been staying together in Chilliwack for “safety” reasons, after Shestalo allegedly tried to strangle his former girlfriend two months prior.

Shestalo had been due in Chilliwack Law Courts on the morning of the shooting on charges of domestic assault and uttering threats from April 15 in Chilliwack. The matter was moved to Aug. 5. He also had an assault charge before the courts from July 6 in Vancouver.

Culley and Kates were two of 10 women who were killed by their male partners or ex-partners in British Columbia in 2022.

Culley’s family spoke about her in a statement released by IHIT on July 26.

“She was the most loving, generous, compassionate and brave human being we have ever known,” Culley’s family said in a statement. “We will miss her madly but we will never let a murderer put out her bright light or destroy our little boys’ lives. Her children were her world.”

RELATED: Suspect in double homicide in Chilliwack found dead after 4 days at large

On Dec. 27, a group of women stood in downtown Vancouver holding the names of the 10 women killed by male intimate partners or ex-partners in B.C. in 2022.

The vigil was organized by the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter. Spokeswoman Hilla Kerner said there were certainly more victims but it is impossible to get the information about some victims and killers from police.

Kerner says that one of her group’s demands is that B.C.’s chief coroner “publish a report any time a woman is murdered by her current or ex-male partner.”

Half of the women who were killed by their male partner in B.C. in 2022 had a protection or no-contact order in place.


 

Do you have something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

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