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Whitehorse shooting victim dies, police now investigating as homicide

RCMP still looking for red pickup truck seen leaving the scene, say shooting 'was not random'

CBC News

September 21, 2017

RCMP held a media briefing outside the Whitehorse detachment on Thursday afternoon following a shooting Wednesday that left one person dead. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Yukon RCMP say the victim of a shooting Wednesday night in Whitehorse has died of his injuries, and the case is now being treated as a homicide.

Police also say they believe the shooting, which happened Wednesday around 6:40 p.m. in the Porter Creek neighbourhood, "was not random." 

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RCMP provided a few more details at a media briefing on Thursday afternoon. They said the 25-year-old victim was from B.C. but they did not release his name.

RCMP are looking for this red pickup truck, that was seen leaving the scene of a shooting on Wednesday. It's described as a newer-style Dodge Ram. (RCMP)

RCMP Insp. Keith MacKinnon said there were two vehicles involved in the incident, and there were reports of "multiple" shots being fired.

The victim was driving one of the vehicles. A passenger in that vehicle was not hurt, police said.

RCMP said they're still looking for the other vehicle that was seen leaving the scene after the shooting. They describe it as a "newer-style" red Dodge Ram pickup truck with a crew cab.

Police at the scene of the shooting across the street from Goody's Gas Convenience in Whitehorse at the corner of the Alaska Highway and Wann Road. (Dave Croft/CBC)

MacKinnon said the RCMP Major Crimes Unit has now taken over the investigation.

"We understand that this situation, compounded with other violent crimes that have recently occurred in the city, creates some fear and unease in the community," MacKinnon said.

"The information we currently have about this incident indicates that this shooting was not random."

'This is like gangland stuff'

The shooting is the seventh homicide in Yukon so far this year. Most of them are still active police investigations, with no suspects having been arrested.

​​​Wednesday night's killing also comes almost a year after another fatal shooting in Porter Creek, also unsolved. 32-year-old Matthew Devellano was shot outside a home on Oct. 8, 2016.

A Radio-Canada reporter was talking to pedestrians in downtown Whitehorse on Thursday about the latest shooting, when she found Tracey Maher, who identified herself as Devellano's mother.

32-year-old Matthew Devellano was fatally shot outside a home in Porter Creek last October. No one has been arrested. (Facebook)

Maher said she's still trying to deal with losing her son, and the fact that his murder is still unsolved.

She's lived in Whitehorse for 24 years but is preparing to leave.

"[Whitehorse] has definitely changed, for sure ... this is like gangland stuff, you know, drive-by shootings," she said.

Maher said another of her sons — Devellano's twin brother — has already left town because he was struggling to cope with his brother's death. Maher herself is preparing to retire.

"I'm going to leave town for the winter, and see if that helps. I don't want to be here for the first anniversary of his death," she said.

"It's pretty tough when there's no closure."

With files from Philippe Morin
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