Vancouver, British Columbia – A gunman who wandered for hours in a suburb of Vancouver shot four people, two of them dead, when he opened fire at a casino, homeless center and other locations before being killed .
The attacks began early in the morning in the Bedroom community of Langley and continued until dawn, according to officials, who initially suggested the shootings targeted homeless people.
The first shootings occurred at midnight casinos, with more shootings at 3 a.m., 5 a.m. and 5:45 a.m., including at a residential complex that provides aid for people emerging from homelessness. Police said other shooting scenes were a bus stop and a highway.
Evidence of violence that took place throughout the night was scattered throughout Langley, including an overturned bicycle that toppled a shopping cart with personal property and someone’s belongings on a street.
Police sent a cell phone alert to residents at 6:20 a.m., saying they were at the scene of several shootings “involving transient victims”.
Spokesperson for the murder investigators, Sergeant David Lee, later told reporters that it was not yet clear whether the victims were homeless.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said an emergency response team encountered the suspect not far from the turn of the road where a man was shot in the leg.
Mounted Superintendent of Police Ghalib Bhayani said that’s when the officers shot the gunman.
Bhayani said the authorities were not aware of the motive behind the shooting or about the shooter and his hunting acquaintances.
He told reporters that the suspect’s death is the subject of an investigation by the British Columbia Bureau of Independent Investigation, a civilian-run police surveillance agency.
Apart from the man with a leg injury, a woman was also injured and was hospitalized in a critical condition, police said.
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The shooting shook Langley, a city of 29,000 people about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Vancouver. The city has a wide variety of shops and restaurants and is a nearly 350-acre (142 ha) park. Many residents moved to Langley for their less expensive housing and moved to Vancouver, the largest city in the province of British Columbia.
Most of the shooting took place in the city of Langley. One reported shooting was in neighboring Langley Township.
As the shooting began, ambulances and police vehicles gathered in a shopping center. The area was cordoned off with yellow police tape and a major intersection was sealed off. A black tent was set up at the scene of a crime. A homicide team confirmed on social media that their investigators were stationed at Langley to help.
Near a bus station, one scene of the shooting had at least seven bullet holes in the windshield of an unmarked police van and one was 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 opened fire in the province of Nova Scotia, killing 22 people.