A Port Alberni mother has been charged with the careless use of a firearm in the shooting death of her son.
A charge has been laid on 61-year-old Samantha Jesselyn Dittmer after police responded to reports of the shooting of her son, Jesse McPhee, on Sunday night.
The charge was laid by police during a hearing over the phone Monday evening with a Justice of Peace through the Justice Centre in Burnaby.
It stems from an incident shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday when police were called to a home on 18th Avenue in Port Alberni for a man who had been shot.
Once officers ensured the scene was safe, paramedics tried to revive the victim without success.
Police arrested a woman at the home whom they believed to be the shooter.
Neighbours say Samantha Dittmer owned and lived at the home as well. Her son Jesse McPhee and his girlfriend also lived there.
They had moved to the home from the Lower Mainland in March 2019.
Neighbours say Dittmer is a longshoreman. McPhee, who was also a father, was a prawn fisherman.
“Kind-hearted. [A] very very polite man. He had a lot of energy about him there’s no doubt and he had that unique Jesse McPhee appearance,” said Cameron Wheatley, the French Creek Harbour Store’s owner.
McPhee was a well-liked customer at the French Creek Harbour Store where he would sometimes go with his mother.
“He loved mom absolutely. They were a really tight-knit family,” said Wheatley.
Neighbour Dylan Gauthier says it’s a heartbreaking outcome.
“Jesse was an excellent person. We’d talk across the fence all the time. Heart of gold. He would always come by with little gifts. He was an interesting character and a really nice guy.”
Dittmer will be held in custody until a court appearance Thursday.