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Updated: Shooting in Coquitlam was targeted — police
Maillardville was behind police lines Wednesday morning as investigators canvassed neighbours for details in what is believed to be a gang-related killing.
Residents reported helicopters hovering overhead early this morning and RCMP were expected to bring in a dog team to find clues to a homicide that took place about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
A man whose identity has not been released but was known to police was parked on Marathon Court when shots were fired into the vehicle. The man left the scene, driving onto Brunette Avenue and knocking over a bus stop before his car came to rest on a curb at Casey Street.
It made a loud bag, reported a neighbour who lives near the corner where the car eventually stopped. "The crash, that's about it. It happened at about 10:30," said the resident, who didn't want her name used.
Someone then ran up to the car saying, "'Hey bro, bro, are you OK? Are you OK?'" the woman reported, saying she was about to call 911 when she heard sirens approaching.
Efforts by a witness to revive the victim before B.C. Ambulance arrived failed, IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound said during a conference with local media, and the man, believed to be in his 30s, was confirmed dead upon arrival at Royal Columbian Hospital.
Meanwhile, a few blocks away on Thomas Avenue, Coquitlam firefighters were putting out a vehicle fire that was spreading to nearby trees and shrubs. The vehicle was badly burned, said Fire Chief Wade Pierlot, who said police and fire investigators are working to determine the cause.
Sgt. Pound said the car fire may be related to the shooting. "It was a busy scene at 11 o'clock at night," she said.
She said police are canvassing neighbours in the area between Marathon Court and Casey Street. "We're still looking to source out the details," she said, adding that people with information are encouraged to call IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The name of the deceased won't be revealed until his identity can be confirmed and his family notified, and it's not known whether he is a resident of Coquitlam. But the man was known to RCMP, and Pound said the shooting was targeted and probably gang-related.
Traffic was blocked on Brunette Avenue between Schoolhouse Street and Laval Street for several hours, inconveniencing both area residents and drivers. One man tried to negotiate with police to get a truck carrying tiles for a renovation to his apartment on Brunette. "This is causing me problems," said Zoran, who didn't give his last name.
But it was the feeling of shock and a sense of insecurity that was on most people's minds.
"Pretty scary," said neighbour Martyn Reddy as he loaded his children into a vehicle. "This morning I was going to work so I noticed all this blocked off and they started asking me questions."
Other residents echoed the same concerns.
One man, who didn't want to be identified, expressed disgust at the use of guns in a quiet neighbourhood. "They have to have their guns," the man said.
• Anyone with more information is asked to call IHIT at 1-877-551-4448.
— with files from Dan Ebenal