One man is dead and a generally quiet neighbourhood in Coquitlam is home to two crime scenes following a shooting police believe is targeted and gang related.
The incident began around 11 p.m. Tuesday after police and fire crews were called to the 1500 block of Thomas Avenue in the Maillardville area for a report of a vehicle fire.
Moments later, Coquitlam Mounties were called to a motor vehicle incident at the intersection of Casey Street and Brunette Avenue a few blocks way.
A man in his mid ’30s was shot while in his vehicle.
A witness stepped in to provide first aid until paramedics arrived, but the victim died in hospital.
Investigators with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team believe the two incidents are related, but are still trying to piece together all the events.
“At this time we have not confirmed the identification of the victim, but with the tentative I.D. we do have, it would suggest that this is a targeted gang-related shooting,” RCMP Sgt. Jennifer Pound said Wednesday morning.
She said the man was driving an SUV, but wouldn’t say what he was doing in the area at the time.
A wide swath of Brunette Avenue was shut down in the morning while police investigated.
Word of the shooting appeared to catch nearby residents by surprise.
Eleanor Bonin lives near the corner of Schoolhouse Street and Brunette and said she had just finished watching America’s Got Talent at 11 o’clock when she heard the police and ambulance sirens.
She never looked out her window to see what was going on, but recalled hearing a fair number of sirens.
Bonin said she’s lived in the area for the last year, describing the nieghbourhood as quiet.
“It’s terrible,” she said. “Why are they shooting everybody?”
While investigators expect to be canvassing the neighbourhood looking for witnesses, IHIT is also asking anyone with information to come forward and call police.
This is the third homicide in Coquitlam in 2013.
Back in May, the body of a 44-year-old Maple Ridge man was discovered in Colony Farm Regional Park.
That murder remains unsolved.
In July, IHIT was called in to investigate a house fire on Cottonwood Avenue after two people died inside the home. Investigators concluded the incident was a murder suicide.
© Copyright 2013