Paul Dragan honoured with BBQ in neighbourhood where he was shot
Business owners and residents gather across the street from where bike shop owner Paul Dragan was shot
Hundreds of people gathered outside of Yaletown's Roundhouse Community Centre on Wednesday, in a show of support for shooting victim Paul Dragan.
Yaletown Business Improvement association executive director Annette O'Shea says the goal was to support Reckless Bikes owner Paul Dragan, but also to show the community's resilience.
"We needed to pull something together for community to come together, and show solidarity, and show each other's strength," said O'Shea.
Dragan's wife and son were at the barbecue outside the Roundhouse Community Centre, but chose not to speak to reporters, instead directing inquiries about last Tuesday's shooting to the Vancouver Police department.
Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu was also at the barbecue, and said it was important to support the businesses and residents of Yaletown, and let people know that despite the shooting last Tuesday, the neighbourhood is safe.
"Vancouver is a safe city. Things will happen that cause concern in the community. But the strength of the community is often how quickly we are able to rebuild, recuperate and go back to enjoying the city as it is meant to be," said Chu.
Local resident and community volunteer Leslie Benisz has known Paul Dragan for decades, and was at the event collecting signatures on an oversized card for Dragan.
"We are a safe community. When bad things happen to people, there are always going to be good people out there who step up, and really let people know we care."
No donations were collected for Dragan, who is recovering in hospital. Instead, those at the barbecue were asked to sign up to donate blood, in recognition of the blood donated to save Dragan.
Gerald Battersby, the man accused of shooting Dragan, did not attend a scheduled court hearing today. He remains in hospital, and has not yet hired a lawyer.
Battersby has been charged with six counts of attempted murder and is also facing four firearms-related charges
Chief Jim Chu on community safety