Suspect arrested in Metro Vancouver banquet shooting
4 people sent to hospital following 'targeted' shooting
One person is in custody after a shooting Wednesday evening at a banquet hall in Metro Vancouver that sent four people to hospital.
"Just five minutes after the shooting, Richmond RCMP officers had arrested a suspect without incident who was located some distance from the scene of the shooting," RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen said in a written release.
Police were called to the Riverside Banquet Hall in Richmond, B.C., just after 9 p.m. PT to investigate reported gunfire.
Police say two men were critically injured in the shooting while two others suffered less serious gunshot wounds. All the victims are in stable condition.
Mounties described a chaotic scene at the hall involving an estimated 100 guests, some of whom were transported by bus to the local detachment for further questioning.
"Police recognize these types of incidents are very concerning to the public. The potential for innocent people to be hurt is high. I’d like to clarify that we have determined this is a targeted incident, which happened at a private function," Thiessen said.
"At this point police are still trying to determine if the shooting was gang-related."
Some reports indicated the shooting happened during a longshoreman event, but union president Mark Gordienko says it wasn't a union event.
"This was a private event, semi-private, by invitation," he said. "And there was probably some longshoremen in attendance. I understand that it was a party for new members."
The incident follows a number of recent shootings in the Metro Vancouver area.
Police have linked two recent fatal shootings in Surrey with an ongoing gang rivalry between the Dhak-Dhure gang and the Red Scorpions.
Gang violence rocked Metro Vancouver in 2011, when police issued a public warning saying anyone near gangster Sukh Dhak, who was also associated with the so-called Duhre group, could be in danger.
Dhak and his bodyguard Thomas Mantel were gunned down in Burnaby, last November, more than a year after notorious gangster Jonathan Bacon was shot dead in Kelowna in August 2011.
Bacon's brother, Jamie Bacon, is among four men accused of first-degree murder in a 2007 mass killing, in which six people — including two innocent bystanders — were shot in a Surrey highrise.
Jamie Bacon's middle brother, Jarrod, is serving a 12-year sentence on drug trafficking charges.
Various gang trials have clogged the courts in B.C.
- An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that police transported 100 witnesses to the RCMP detachment.Jan 17, 2013 1:45 AM PT
With files from The Canadian Press