'It's very scary': Whitehorse residents rattled after fifth homicide in 2017

Police investigating Wednesday night shooting in Whitehorse's Porter Creek neighbourhood

September 23, 2017

Claude Dupuy says that a string of violent incidents this year has him 'concerned because I want to grow a family here, and I don't feel confident anymore here.' (Wayne Vallevand/CBC)

Whitehorse residents are expressing their concern after a recent shooting police are treating as a homicide — the fifth in the city so far this year.

A 25-year-old man from British Columbia was shot Wednesday evening in the Porter Creek neighbourhood. Police said they believed the shooting was not random and they are searching for a red pickup truck last seen leaving the scene of the shooting.


On Thursday, RCMP told CBC News that they had towed a red Dodge pickup truck that matched the description of the truck in question. However, police have yet to confirm the truck is the one involved in the incident and are continuing to ask for help from the public.

This latest incident has resident Claire Strauss, who grew up near where the shooting took place, alarmed.

RCMP in Whitehorse are still looking for information on a red pickup truck seen leaving the scene of a shooting in Porter Creek, Sept. 20, 2017. (RCMP)

"My reaction was do what you still do," she said. "What makes communities safe are that we're doing things transparently, and our lives are intertwined … my heart goes out to people who think that violence is their solution. It's not, and I don't think our community is immune to it."

More people share her apprehension. 

"I'm concerned," said Claude Dupuy. "I'm concerned because I want to grow a family here, and I don't feel confident anymore here … it's very scary." 

Dupuy, who moved to Whitehorse from Vancouver, said he's been surprised at the high rate of crime in the city, "because this place is a small place and everyone knows everyone."

'It's not random'

However, Robbyn Chiles says she thinks there is little for residents to be concerned about.

Thelma Floyd works in healthcare. She said that she feels as if the issues facing Whitehorse aren't any different than any smaller community in Canada. (Wayne Vallevand/CBC)

"I feel like the RCMP responded very quickly, from the reports that I've seen, and it was not a random thing," she said. "Most of the violence in Whitehorse, although escalating, it's not random."

Thelma Floyd, who works in healthcare, also said that the recent incidents concerned her, but she doesn't feel it's any different than any smaller community in Canada.

"I think there's violence everywhere in Canada," she said. "But it is a concern living here, for sure."

Police are continuing to investigate the shooting. In addition to being the fifth homicide in Whitehorse this year, it is the seventh in the Yukon, with most still being active investigations without suspects having been arrested.

With files from David Croft
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