British Columbia

Vancouver police say son accidentally shot his mom at Oppenheimer Park

Vancouver police say a shooting that put the downtown community on edge over violence at a homeless encampment was an accident between a mother and her son.

53-year-old Powell River woman showed up at the hospital Oct. 26 with a gunshot wound to the arm

Vancouver police say a man in his 30s accidentally discharged a firearm near Oppenheimer Park on Oct. 26, 2019 and injured his mother. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Vancouver police say a shooting that put the downtown community on edge over violence at a homeless encampment was an accident between a mother and her son.

Police say a 53-year-old Powell River woman went to Oppenheimer Park Oct. 26 to visit someone she knew there but later turned up at a local hospital with a gunshot wound to her arm.

At the time police said the shooting wasn't random but could not say who the intended target was.

The shooting followed several violent incidents in and around the park. At least one city councillor used it to call for the eviction of the park over safety concerns.

Police have been warning for months about an increase in violence, weapons and police calls to the area.

Shot by own son

On Friday, police announced that the woman injured in October was accidentally shot by her own son.

Investigators say he discharged the weapon by mistake while speaking to her near the vehicle she was in at the time.

Days after the shooting, police arrested the man, who is in his 30s, for a separate violent offence. Police seized a gun they say was likely the one involved in the accidental shooting of the 53-year-old.

No one talking

No charges have been recommended in the incident. Police say none of those involved would co-operate with investigators.

However, the VPD is pointing to the incident as it reiterates its concern there has been a proliferation of firearms in the area.

"The cavalier attitude toward weapons is putting people in harm's way in the Downtown Eastside," added Sgt. Steve Addison in a written statement.

At the end of September, the park board voted against an injunction to evict people living at the park. The board chose instead to encourage them to leave voluntarily by connecting them with housing resources.

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