One dead in Richmond shooting
Richmond RCMP investigate after a man was gunned down near Westminster Highway and Garden City Road in Richmond Wednesday. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)
Homicide investigators expect to comb the scene into Thursday morning after a man was fatally shot outside a quiet Richmond apartment complex early Wednesday afternoon.
Sgt. Jennifer Pound said police are now trying to identify the victim, and it's too early to tell whether the shooting was targeted or gang-related.
"We have many resources at the scene currently trying to obtain details," she said.
"Until we can identify the victim, who that victim is, we're not going to know what happened here or why this happened."
A neighbouring resident said he heard the sound of three "pops" in rapid succession just after 1 p.m. Soon, police arrived and barricaded the area for several blocks in each direction.
The man was pronounced deceased on scene.
The area is surrounded by a church, a park, apartment and town home complexes, and has several schools nearby.
Ping, who declined to give her last name, was arriving home about five minutes after the shooting when she saw a man's body on a sidewalk near the intersection.
"I didn't know it was a shooting. I just thought maybe something emergency happened, a heart attack or a stroke," she said, describing the victim as dressed in "waterproof" type clothing, with a large, "traveller" style backpack.
But not all neighbours were surprised to hear of the fatal shooting. An employee at the Richmond Pentecostal Church across the street said the neighbourhood used to be rampant with drug dealers.
"I think the developing of the neighbourhood has actually reduced the amount of criminal activity, whereas before, there were drug busts, guns drawn by police - often," said the employee, who wished to remain anonymous.
"My opinion is, it can happen on any corner."
He added there were few people present at the church - which runs an after school daycare - during the shooting, with the exception of some staff members.
Police added there's currently no suspect information available.