Charges have been approved against two suspects in a brazen dinner-hour shooting that took place on Vancouver's west side Tuesday.
Liban Hassan, 35, and Ahmed Ismail, 24, have been charged with attempted murder, Vancouver police said in a news release Wednesday afternoon, roughly 24 hours after the shooting took place.
Shots rang out around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, just steps from a restaurant patio where diners were enjoying dinner and drinks on an unseasonably warm October evening.
According to police, a man and woman with a young child and a baby in a car seat had just exited the restaurant on West 29th Avenue on the west side of Dunbar Street when two men approached them and began shooting.
Police say the man was hit by gunfire and he was taken to hospital to be treated for what are being described as non-life threatening injuries. The woman and the children he was with were not hurt and no bystanders were injured.
"This was a reckless act in a heavily populated area, very early in the evening," Const. Tania Visintin said in a news release the next day.
"It's frightening for the neighbourhood and the consequences could have been far worse. This type of crime is not welcome in Vancouver."
Diners on the patio at Bells and Whistles say as soon as they heard the shots they hit the deck — with some even crawling under their tables for safety.
Witnesses reported two men running from the scene, and also say there happened to be two police cars just across Dunbar Street when the shooting took place.
One man told CTV News as soon as the shooting stopped, both of the nearby police cars roared across the street and officers began securing the area.
Moments later, just blocks away at the intersection of West 27th Avenue and Blenheim Street, neighbours heard a loud bang as a grey Jeep SUV crashed into a parked truck.
It's not clear if Vancouver police were in pursuit of the SUV when it crashed, but officers were there quickly. At one point officers had their guns drawn.
Vancouver police confirmed they arrested two people. The suspects are still in custody, and will remain there until their next court appearance next week, police said.
Gunfire and police pursuits are not normal activities for Dunbar residents and the incident left some feeling uneasy.
“I grew up in this neighbourhood since I was a child and there’s never been any type of issue involving firearms,” said George McLeod, who lives nearby.
For Barb Newton, who was having an early Thanksgiving dinner with her family nearby, the incident was a surprise.
"It was not what you expect to see in this neighbourhood, nor have I ever seen anything like it here," she said.
Newton said one of the suspects was near her front gate before being arrested, and several officers were in her backyard at one point, looking for evidence.
In their news release, Vancouver police said they believe the shooting was targeted.
Officers remained on scene Wednesday morning. Anyone with dash cam video from the area between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday is asked to call investigators at 604-717-2541.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Sheila Scott