VANCOUVER, B.C. – Bullet holes in the window draw eyes upward to an apartment where two people lay dead – victims of Metro Vancouver’s latest shooting.
The two side-by-side punctures in the glass are partially covered by vertical blinds. Out front, yellow crime scene police tape surrounds the building and a neighbouring house.
It was 8:40 a.m. Tuesday when police began receiving 911 calls about shots fired at the busy intersection on Vancouver’s east side, where a constant stream of commercial trucks rumbles past.
Within short order a now-familiar scene began to unfold: Officers arrived, up went the yellow police tape and out went the calls from reporters to the Vancouver Police Department.
It was the region’s 33rd shooting incident since mid-January.
Police spokesman Const. Lindsey Houghton said officers were waiting for forensic investigators and hadn’t yet been inside the suite. He couldn’t say who discovered the bodies.
Then he addressed the question on everyone’s minds: “I know everyone’s interested to know whether this was targeted, whether this was gang related.”
Houghton said it was too early to say who was involved in the crime and investigators hadn’t yet entered the residence as they waited for a forensic team to arrive.
The bodies would remain inside the apartment, he said, as a helicopter buzzed overhead.
“We’ve certainly been to the address before in the past but nothing that I’m aware of that would have any relation to this type of violence,” Houghton said.
He couldn’t say if the deceased were two males, two females or a man and woman. He didn’t know their ages and he didn’t know the motive for the killings.
But he knew one thing for sure: People are on edge since shootings have become a nearly daily a routine in the metro Vancouver area.
Fourteen people have been killed since mid-January in the unprecedented gunfire that’s rocked Metro Vancouver. One of the victims included a woman whose four-year-old son was in back seat of her car when she was shot.
“We share the concerns and the frustrations of the public,” Houghton said. “We’re doing everything we can to target the individuals responsible for these types of crimes.
“We take gun violence in the city of Vancouver extremely seriously and we will be doing everything we can with the resources that we have to arrest and to send successful prosecution packages to Crown counsel.”
Jay Su, who owns the furniture store below the apartments, has a polite acquaintance with the people who live there.
“I just saw the guy going upstairs, that’s all. He’s a good guy,” he said.
Su said the residents above were usually very quiet.
Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu admitted last week that the city is in the middle of a gang war that has seen more than 100 shootings in recent years.
“As police, we’ve always been told by media experts to never say or admit that there is a gang war,” Chu said Friday as police announced the arrests of two alleged gang leaders. “Well, let’s get serious. There is a gang war and it’s brutal.”
Police are still investigating the October 2007 murder of six people – two of them innocent bystanders – in a Surrey apartment.