New Stockton Adherent Murdered on Return from AA

In a tragic act of violence, Stockton, Calif., ARC adherent Peter Smith was murdered as he returned to the Center after attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting nearby.

Smith and another adherent, who was unharmed, were the victims of a robbery at gunpoint. Pete, who refused to turn over his money, was shot in the back of the head as he turned to leave the scene.

Slated to complete his program at the ARC in just a few weeks, he was preparing to move to a transitional program. He was one of 20 adherents recently enrolled at the Center.

“Pete really had made a change in his life,” said ARC resident manager Jim Sooy. “We were real proud of him. He had turned his life over to Christ and we know he’s with the Lord.” During his recovery process, he had reconciled with his family and cleared up the wreckage in his life.

Well liked by the residents, he made it a point to be in chapel every morning before devotions, and was active in the adherents’ Bible study and in the Stockton Corps’ Songster Brigade. “He loved to sing,” Sooy recalled, “and he was hungry to learn more about God’s word. Pete’s now in a place we’re all trying to reach.”

More than 100 attended his memorial service, which was a celebration of his victory in life.

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