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Hundreds remember slain hockey mom at Saturday vigil

A candlelight vigil was held Saturday in memory of slain hockey mom Julie Paskall.

Hundreds of people, including several Surrey Minor Hockey teams, attended the event.

Julie was a “great mom, first and foremost,” said her husband Al following two minutes of silence. “Her greatest attribute was her ability to take care of others.”

At 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 29, 53-year-old Julie Paskall was waiting to pick up her 16-year-old son who was volunteering as a referee at a tournament near the Newton Ice Rink at 7120 136B St.

The longtime time-keeper with Surrey Minor Hockey was in the parking lot when someone clubbed her in the head and beat her with a blunt object. She died on Dec. 31.

Police believe the killer, who is still on the loose, may be the same person who attacked a woman getting off a bus at the Newton bus exchange on Dec. 16. The Surrey RCMP did not send out a public release about that attack because they didn’t believe it was severe enough or represented a trend.

Paskall’s murder reignited debate about safety in Newton and prompted residents to take action.

The Newton Community Association organized a forum for concerned residents after the killing, where people called for several measures, including more foot and bike police patrols; enhanced community policing; better communication with city workers and private companies; and closed circuit surveillance cameras.

“We don’t need to change the laws, we don’t need to change the courts,” said an emotional Al Paskall at Saturday’s vigil. “We need to change ourselves. We’ve let ourselves get away from the community and taking care of each other.”

- with files from Kevin Diakiw

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