Was Vernon Shooter Killed by Police?
RCMP believe there is a possible link between a shooting in Vernon, a carjacking in Penticton and a fatal shooting in Nanaimo.
Police say Monday's shooter in Vernon is described as Caucasian, 5 - 9, with blonde hair, was seen leaving the parking lot in a 1996 grey, Ford Crown Victoria.
At 8:35 p.m. on May 7, Penticton RCMP were called to a motel in the 800-block of Westminster Avenue for a report of a man with a gun. The man was seen in possession of a high-visibility vest and matched the description of the suspect in the Vernon shooting. The man fled prior to police attendance.
A short while later, at 8:46 p.m., Penticton RCMP received a report of a carjacking in the 100-block of Maple Street. The victim, driving a bluish-grey Pontiac Vibe, reported that a male, matching the description of both previous incidents asked for a ride to the hospital to see a sick family member. Once inside the car, the male assaulted the victim. The victim was forced from the vehicle in the 900-block of Main Street, Penticton. The victim sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries.
At 8:35 a.m. on May 8th, Penticton RCMP were notified that the victim's stolen vehicle was mobile and nearing the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal in Nanaimo. That vehicle was stopped by police at the terminal and ended with the driver being shot by police.
Investigators say they are actively working to either confirm or eliminate information in order to conclusively determine if the various incidents are connected, if they are connected to a single individual or if others are involved.
Superintendent Ray Carfantan, Assistant District Officer RCMP Southeast District states, "While we wish to advance these investigations, we must be mindful of the nexus to the ongoing Nanaimo investigation by the Independent Investigation Office of British Columbia (IIO BC). We will continue to support the investigative needs of our units here in the Okanagan to enhance public safety, while respecting that the IIO BC leads the investigation on Vancouver Island."