A 15-year-old innocent Coquitlam teenager is on life-support after being shot by a bullet fired in a “brazen” targeted shooting on a busy Vancouver street Saturday night.
Vancouver Police Chief Constable Adam Palmer confirmed in a press conference Monday that the boy was shot while in a car with his parents as they were driving eastbound on Broadway in Vancouver en route their home in Coquitlam.
The boy’s name has not been released and Palmer told the media that it is too early to say what kind of support his peers at his local school will be getting.
At this time the boy is not expected to live, Palmer said, noting that investigators are “heart-broken” about the tragedy.
“What a tragic, terrible this event this is,” Palmer said, noting that the department, including 50 officers, is putting all of its efforts into finding whoever is responsible.
“My heart goes out to the family of the 15-year-old boy — now they are grieving for their son.”
It’s rare for a bystander to be hit in a shooting, with the most recent recalled by Palmer taking place in 2004 when Rachel Davis was shot and killed outside the Purple Onion in Vancouver in 2004.
“Vancouver is a safe city and this is an anomaly. It’s been many many years since we’ve had a shooting like this where a person’s been hit,” he said.
Another victim is Kevin Whiteside who was involved in the exchange of gunfire and is known to police. Another 30-year-old man was also hit by a bullet and was treated at the scene, police say. Police believe he is not a target.
Among the areas of the investigation still underway is who fired the bullet that hit the Coquitlam youth, and who was the shooter, who apparently got away.
“This is bad and we are concerned about how brazen it was,” Sgt. Jason Robillard said at a press conference Sunday at VPD headquarters on Sunday afternoon. “This is a priority for us… We have officers working around the clock using all resources at our disposal.”
The teenager, who is male, was a passenger in a vehicle that was driving in the vicinity of the Indochine restaurant on Broadway at Ontario Street around 9:15 on Saturday, Jan. 13.
The area surrounding Broadway and Ontario was closed on Sunday afternoon. About 30 officers were “actively working the scene,” Robillard said at 2 p.m. “It’s quite a scene and we want to make sure we capture it accurately.”
Investigators with the VPD`s Major Crime Section are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed this shooting or who may have dash-cam footage and driving in the area between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on January 13, to call (604) 717- 2500.
— with files from Martha Perkins