Police are investigating the relationship between the victims and the suspect, who also died in the crossfire.
A series of shootings recorded this Monday in the Canadian town of Langley, 45 kilometers southeast of Vancouver, in the province of British Columbia, has left at least three dead, including the shooter, and several injured, according to local authorities. All of the victims were homeless; police believe the attack was planned. Chief Superintendent Ghalib Bhayani of the Mountain Police Force has said that one person is in critical condition and another is seriously injured. “We are investigating. At this time we do not know the motive behind this attack or if there was any relationship between the deceased suspect and the victims,” he added, reports Reuters.
The first alert, issued at 6:15 a.m. local time (3:15 p.m. Spanish peninsular time) spoke of “multiple shootings” in the Langley region: one in a shopping center, another in a casino and the third in a pawnshop. A police spokesman has indicated that there is a detainee, whom he believes responsible for the events, and that, although he considers that he has acted alone, he is still trying to rule out that he is the only one.
Langley police asked people to stay away from areas where the attacks took place, including a casino parking lot and a bus stop. The agents also asked to avoid the city center while the investigations are carried out. The suspect was described in the first alert sent to residents by authorities as a white male in overalls and a camouflage T-shirt.
Although far from the level of its neighbor the United States, Canada has experienced an increase in crimes with firearms for years. According to the Canadian Government, since 2009 the number of crimes related to firearms has grown by 81%. And while mass shooting incidents are rare, they still happen, like the one in 2020 in the province of Nova Scotia that killed 23 people. The growing concern about the problem has led the Canadian federal government to announce last May a much stricter regulation of the sale of firearms, which represents an almost total moratorium.
The Vancouver metropolitan area, with more than two million inhabitants, has had a relatively large population of homeless people for decades, caused, above all, by high housing prices. Officially, at last count, there are 2,095 homeless people in that Canadian city alone.