Vancouver, British Columbia
A gunman who wandered for hours in a sleepy Vancouver suburb shot and killed four people early Monday, two fatally, as he opened fire on a casino, homeless center and other locations before shooting. be killed by police, authorities said.
The attacks began in the wee hours in the dormitory community of Langley and continued until dawn, according to authorities, who initially suggested the shooting was aimed at homeless people.
The first shooting took place at midnight at the casino, with further shootings at 3 a.m., 5 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. – including at a residential compound that provides support for people coming out of homelessness. Other shooting scenes were a bus stop and a highway, police said.
Evidence of the all-night rampage was strewn around Langley, including an overturned bicycle knocking belongings down a street and a shopping cart containing someone’s belongings.
Police sent a mobile phone alert to residents at 6:20 a.m. saying they were at the scene of several shootings “involving passing victims”.
sergeant. David Lee, a spokesman for homicide investigators, later told reporters it was not yet clear if the victims were homeless.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said an emergency response team confronted the suspect near a freeway bypass where a man was found with a bullet wound to his leg.
That’s when officers shot the shooter, said Mounted Police Superintendent Ghalib Bhayani.
Authorities did not know the motive for the shooting or whether the shooter and his victims knew each other, Bhayani said.
He told reporters that the suspect’s death was being investigated by the BC Office of Independent Investigations, a civilian-run police watchdog.
Besides the man with a leg injury, a woman was also injured and hospitalized in critical condition, police said.
The shooting rocked Langley, a town of 29,000 about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Vancouver. The city offers a variety of shops and restaurants and has nearly 350 acres (142 hectares) of parkland. Many residents moved to Langley for its cheaper housing and traveled to Vancouver, the largest city in the province of British Columbia.
Most of the shootings took place in downtown Langley. A reported shooting took place in nearby Langley Township.
After the shooting began, ambulances and police vehicles converged on a shopping mall. The area was cordoned off with yellow police tape and a major intersection was closed. A black tent has been set up at one of the crime scenes. A homicide squad has confirmed on social media that its investigators have deployed to Langley to help.
An unmarked police SUV at one of the shooting scenes, near a bus depot, had at least seven bullet holes in the windshield and one through the driver’s window.
Mass shootings are less common in Canada than in the United States. The deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history occurred in 2020 when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across the province of Nova Scotia. Scotland, killing 22 people.
The country overhauled its gun control laws after a mugger killed 14 women and himself in 1989 at Montreal’s École Polytechnique.
It is now illegal to own an unregistered handgun or any type of rapid-fire weapon in Canada. To purchase a gun, the country also requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and a criminal record check.