Homeless man shot with arrow on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, police say
Police believe arrow was shot from nearby building where cache of weapons was found
Police are investigating after a homeless man was shot with an arrow in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on Thursday night.
The victim, 22, was standing in front of the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre at Columbia Street and East Cordova Street when he felt a sharp pain in his leg, according to police. He realized he had been shot by an arrow, which was lodged below his kneecap.
He walked to Insite, the safe injection site about a block away, to get medical attention. There, staff called 911.
Police say he suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but his knee will be sore for several days.
Sgt. Steve Addison says investigators believe the attack was random.
"This level of callousness and disregard is shocking," he said.
Police believe the arrow was shot from the fire escape of a nearby building on East Hastings Street, where officers found a stash of real and imitation weapons, including crossbows, replica assault rifles, scopes, lights and lasers. Addison described the discovery as "alarming."
Addison, who worked in the neighbourhood for nine years, said it's not unusual for police to find weapons like those found Thursday night in the DTES. In fact, he said, they find them almost daily.
Police believe the person who shot the arrow was either a resident or visitor of the building. The suspect fled before police arrived.
"We're continuing to collect evidence and are working hard to identify the shooter," Addison said.
Police are also continuing to investigate an attack on a homeless man that took place in Yaletown in late July.
A video taken by a bystander shows a man in his 20s arguing with a group of people on Hamilton Street. When a homeless man walks by, the suspect hit him in the head, chased him, pushed him on the ground and kicked him repeatedly.
Investigators do not believe the two are linked, however they are concerned that there have been multiple attacks on vulnerable individuals.
"We know that homeless and unsheltered people are already more likely to be victims of crime than those who are housed," Addison said. "We are doing everything possible to identify the people who did this and hold them accountable."