Communities in the U.S. and Canada are in shock and left to grieve after a workplace shooting in the city of Watertown in New York state left a beloved former Williams Lake woman and her business partner dead.
Real estate brokers Maxine Quigg and Terence O’Brien were killed at their brokerage at Bridgeview Real Estate Wednesday afternoon, April 28. State troopers identified a former employee as the suspected gunman and were in pursuit of the 55-year-old man when he was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and later died.
In a statement Wednesday night, Watertown’s mayor extended his sympathies to the families of the victims.
“Tonight, my heart is heavy after learning that we have lost two of the nicest, most decent, generous and community-minded people I have ever known, Maxine Quigg and Terry O’Brien,” Mayor Jeff Smith posted in a public statement. “Words cannot begin to express the deep sympathy I have for both the Quigg and O’Brien families.”
Smith said O’Brien was a friend of his since childhood growing up in the close-knit city while he first met Quigg two decades ago when her husband and his wife worked together at the hospital.
“Maxine leaves behind a loving, devoted husband, Dr. Joe Quigg and two wonderful children, Connor and Kennedy … Not only was Maxine a great friend to me and so many others, she was an extremely devoted member of her community.”
***STATEMENT FROM CITY OF WATERTOWN MAYOR JEFF SMITH***Tonight, my heart is heavy after learning that we have lost two...Posted by Mayor Jeff Smith on Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Quigg, 50, was born and raised in Williams Lake by Fred and Maryjane Engstrom, who are devastated and heartbroken by the loss.
“They moved (to Watertown) 20 years ago and there’s not a day or an hour that has gone by in the last 20 years that we don’t wonder what she’s up to,” Fred Engstrom said Friday morning.
“She’s the love of our life.”
Maxine was a bright and popular student in the lakecity known for her kindness and her joyful presence. She went on to become an intensive care unit nurse, and met her husband when the two worked at Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake.
She later became a real estate broker after the family moved to Watertown for his work.
“She was honestly one of the most phenomenal, amazing women you could ever meet,” said lifelong friend, Tanya Rankin.
“Her joy and love for life, her work ethic and love for family were unparalleled. It is unimaginable that anyone could do this to her.”
In Watertown, a city of roughly 27,000 located about 50 kilometres south of the Ontario border, Quigg was well-known for her volunteer work in the community.
The Northern New York Community Foundation posted a public statement following the death of Quigg, who was on the foundation’s board of directors.
“Her sudden and tragic death leaves us with a tremendous void,” read the statement.
The City of Watertown is hosting a community vigil Saturday, May 1 at 7 p.m. to pay tribute to the victims.