Vancouver Police are investigating three shootings in the Downtown Eastside, over a 15-hour period, that have sent four people to hospital with injuries.
Two shootings occurred on Sunday, September 22: one just before 4 p.m., near East Hastings Street and Dunlevy Avenue, and the second around 6 p.m. in the area of East Pender and Abbott streets. Around 6:30 a.m. today, there was a third shooting near East Hastings and Abbott streets.
VPD Major Crime detectives are investigating all three incidents and believe that the three shootings are targeted and may be linked to gang activity. No arrests have been made at this time.
The victim in the first shooting is a 50-year-old Surrey man who is in hospital with serious injuries. A 28-year-old Langley man and 25-year-old Surrey man were injured in the second shooting and were transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. This morning’s incident has sent a 50-year-old Vancouver man to hospital with serious injuries.
Last week, Vancouver Police raised concern about escalating levels of crime and violence in the Downtown Eastside. Police have increased resources in the area, including deploying more patrol officers and officers who specialize in gang crime. In addition, police will be placing the VPD’s public safety trailer with a camera in strategic locations around the Downtown Eastside to monitor criminal activity.
Police have recently completed a major investigative project in the area that resulted in the arrest of a violent offender. Charges are pending in that case. The VPD is continuing with special projects to target the most violent offenders in the neighbourhood.
“These three shootings, in such a short time frame, highlight the escalating violence in the Downtown Eastside,” says Deputy Chief Constable, Howard Chow, Operations, VPD. “Criminals are looking to take advantage of the current situation and are putting vulnerable people at risk.”
Police are looking for dashcam or cell phone video from anyone who may have been in the area of Hastings to Keefer and Dunlevy to Heatley near the time of the shootings. Anyone with video or additional is asked to call the VPD Major Crime Section at 604-717-2500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.