A 59-year-old Nanaimo, B.C., man is dead and a younger relative of his from Mission, B.C., is in hospital, following a crossbow attack outside a Mission eatery late on Valentine's Day. 

RCMP say a 24-year-old employee of the Mission Station Grill had just finished cleaning up at the restaurant and was leaving work around 11:30 p.m. PT when he received a crossbow bolt to his upper torso near his shoulder after stepping into the parking lot. 

Mission RCMP Const. Amanda Harnett says it was an unusual call for them.

"Mission RCMP received a 911 call from an individual stating that a young man had been struck in the torso with an arrow and they were taking him to hospital. Our members arrived and immediately found another male lying down and it appears he had a self inflicted wound," she said.

The young man's co-workers rushed him to hospital. He underwent surgery and is expected to recover, but RCMP say  the 59-year-old shooter is dead. Police found him in the parking lot suffering from an apparent self-inflicted wound from his crossbow.

Mission Station Grill

The parking lot where a man died of a self-inflicted crossbow wound after shooting a relative with the same crossbow (CBC/Tim Weekes)

He died in hospital.

Police say the two men are related and are classifying the incident, an attempted murder-suicide, but they still have a number of questions.

"One of the things that stands out for police in this incident is the choice of weapon — a crossbow. They're not often used by criminals but they can be deadly."

Crossbows are popular with some hunters, but statistically they are not common as murder weapons. However, there have been exceptions.

In one high profile case in 1993, a 22-year-old BCIT student was shot with a crossbow and died in a parking lot. There have been other fatal crossbow attacks in Canada, but the number is extremely low.

Police say they would like to speak to any witnesses or people who have information about the incident, but they are convinced it wasn't gang or drug related and they have identified all the people who were involved.

Map for mobile users: Mission Station Grill

with files from the CBC's Tim Weekes