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Sudbury musician one of two men killed in Travelodge murders

Matthew Saroka was the lead guitarist for the local band Harvey King and the Grindstone
Matthew Saroka.

A Sudbury musician is one of the two men killed in a double murder at the Travelodge Hotel shortly before Christmas.

The names of the victims in that incident are now publicly available. Information provided by the courts reveals that Matthew Saroka, who was 38 years old, was killed in the incident, as was 27-year-old Javon Bryce.

The victims’ names have not been released to date by Greater Sudbury Police. 

Saroka’s obituary said he was the lead guitarist in the local band Harvey King and the Grindstone.

“Matt breathed music and will forever consider those in the music community his family,” said his obituary.

“Although he suffered a traumatic accident, he persevered and continued to be healed by his passion for music. While jamming with many, he was proud to be lead guitarist in the band Harvey King and the Grindstone. 

“We will always remember how Matt would help anyone in need from all walks of life with no judgment, just kindness and because of this donations to the Elgin Street Mission are greatly appreciated … Matt will forever be laying down some ‘tasty licks’ at the great gig in the sky.”

The Facebook page for Harvey King and the Grindstone described Saroka as a “brother, friend, bandmate.”

“A man with a heart of gold who could shred guitar like no other,” said the band’s Facebook post. 

“You were a brilliant mind and your kindness attracted many. You brought light into our lives with your pure, unadulterated humour. The pain of grief brought on by the news of your passing is unbearable. 

“There is a massive hole in the universe, in our hearts and on our stage that can never be filled. You will be remembered as a legend with the spirit of a lion. Everything we do is in your honour. Until we meet again, our wildcard.”

Saroka’s obituary said his family will be holding a celebration of life at a later date. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Jackson and Barnard Funeral Home.

He is survived by his parents, Sam and Halina Saroka and siblings Kevin Saroka and Stephany Saroka (Kemal Alladin). He was also the loving uncle to Remi Alladin-Saroka. 

No obituary for Javon Bryce, the other murder victim in this case, has yet been published.

Greater Sudbury Police have charged a 33-year-old Greater Sudbury man, Joel Roy, with two counts of first degree murder in this case.

He is also facing a charge of attempted murder related to the presence of an 18-year-old man, who was in the room during the shooting, but was not injured. 

The killings occurred early on Dec. 20. Shortly after 2 a.m., officers were dispatched to the Travelodge Hotel in relation to a weapons complaint, as there were reports of gunshots. Upon arrival, officers located two men who had sustained what were believed to be gunshot wounds. 

The police report said a 27-year-old Greater Sudbury man was transported to the hospital. He was pronounced deceased by medical professionals. 

The second man, a 38-year-old Greater Sudbury man, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the Travelodge Hotel shootings are believed to be targeted and isolated.

Three murders resulting from two incidents just days before Christmas — plus manslaughter charges laid last month in a summer overdose death — brought the number of 2022 homicides in Greater Sudbury up to 10. 

This is the highest number of homicides the city has seen in a single year since 1987.