British Columbia

Minister acknowledges latest shootings have left British Columbians 'fearful and worried'

British Columbia's public safety minister says the latest round of shootings in the province's public spaces has been "unsettling'' for residents.

Monday's attacks in Langley were the latest in a string of gun violence in southwest B.C.

A police officer walks past an undercover police vehicle riddled with bullet holes after a shooting near Willowbrook Mall, on 200 Street near the Langley Bypass, in Langley, B.C., on Monday. Several shootings in the community early Monday left two victims dead and two more hurt. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

British Columbia's public safety minister says the latest round of shootings in the province's public spaces has been "unsettling" for residents.

Mike Farnworth called Monday's shooting deaths of two people in Langley, and the wounding of two others, "a senseless act of violence" that is "extremely disturbing."

"My thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones and the community impacted by this despicable act. These people are members of our community," Farnworth said during a news conference Monday. 

"I understand British Columbians are fearful and worried when events like this happen."

Police said the gunman in Langley, who was shot dead by police, was known to them but had "non-criminal contact" with officers.

The two people killed have yet to be identified.

One of the two people injured in the shootings Monday, who police identified as a homeless woman, remains in critical condition, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team confirmed Tuesday morning.

An officer walks past a bicycle abandoned during a shooting on 200 Street near the Langley Bypass in Langley, B.C., Monday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A community outreach event is scheduled for Tuesday for those affected in Langley. Representatives from victim services, the RCMP, crisis counsellors and other community support groups will offer their services.

The shootings Monday were the latest in a string of gun violence that has unfolded across the province in recent weeks, from Vancouver Island to the Sea to Sky region:

Surrey police and RCMP officers speak with the public at the scene of a shooting in Surrey, B.C., on July 14. Ripudaman Singh Malik, who was acquitted in the 1985 Air India bombings, was fatally shot. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Farnworth said he understands that British Columbians are worried and fearful when shootings happen in their neighbourhoods.

"We don't yet know the motive behind the shootings," he said, referring to the attack in Langley. 

"However, with [Monday's] tragic events, I want British Columbians to feel assured as more info becomes available, we will make that known to the public.''

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was "horrified" by Monday's shootings.

"My heart breaks for the victims' loved ones and communities, and my thoughts are with the people who were injured — we're wishing you a speedy recovery. This violence has no place in any of our communities," he wrote on Twitter.

With files from CBC News


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