A man is dead and a suspect is still at large after a brazen dinner hour shooting at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park on Monday.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has been called in to investigate.
The incident occurred at or near a basketball court in one of the park’s busiest areas, adjacent to a skateboard park, playground and beach volleyball courts — all of which were busy on a warm spring evening.
A video shared with the Tri-City News by a reader showed Coquitlam Fire Rescue and BC Ambulance arriving at the park as walkers stroll the path that connects the nearby parking lot to Lafarge Lake, families sit on blankets spread on the grass and kids frolick in the adjacent playground.
Moments later, a stretcher is wheeled to the waiting ambulance while a paramedic appears to be doing chest compressions.
Deena Beauchamp said she was walking toward Town Centre Park when she saw an RCMP vehicle make a sudden U-turn and speed toward the park. She said by the time she arrived near the scene, 20 cars had swarmed the area.
Another witness reported hearing a single pop at around 6:30 p.m.
After the victim was removed from the scene, officers were seen interviewing bystanders; some searched nearby washrooms and bushes.
There have been several shootings in the city in recent weeks.
On April 4, a man was shot in the area of Gatensbury Street and Howie Avenue, only hours after another apparent shooting near Good Neighbour Park. No victim was located in the latter incident.
Those came on the heels of another report of shots fired March 31 in the 600-block of North Road that left one man with non life-threatening injuries. And on March 29, a male victim was transported to hospital after a confirmed shooting in the 300-block of Decaire Street.
IHIT is asking anyone with information about Monday's shooting to contact Coquitlam RCMP or its own info line at 1-877-551-4448.
— with files from Janis Cleugh