B.C.’s top police official called Monday’s mass shooting in Langley a “despicable act” but said British Columbians should feel safe after several recent murders and gang shootings.
“This past month has been a harrowing one for the people of British Columbia,” said Mike Farnworth, Solicitor General and Minister of Public Safety.
Between midnight and 5:45 a.m. Monday, a man shot four people, two of them killed, in downtown Langley and around the township. The suspect was killed by police near 200th Street and the Langley Bypass shortly after the last of the four attacks.
“This senseless act of violence is deeply disturbing and completely unacceptable,” Farnworth said.
He said that the motive behind these attacks is not yet known, the police are investigating and if found out, it will be made public.
He thanked the RCMP and other emergency responders who were active in Langley on Monday.
Farnworth said the police and RCMP put themselves at risk to make BC a safer place to live, work and play.
It was in the wake of a string of violent crimes, including a domestic double homicide in Chilliwack last week, a gang-related double homicide in Whistler, and the escape from prison of a man currently on trial for murder.
The Langley shooting resulted in only the second use of a cellphone-based emergency alert system, sending loud beeps and text warnings to thousands of British Columbians.
Farnsworth was asked if the warnings were sufficiently targeted, and why they went out so soon after the suspected shooter was killed.
“The police were dealing with a very fluid and dynamic situation,” Farnworth said.
Early warnings noted that police did not believe there was only one shooter, and made decisions based on the information they had. He added that he learned from previous incidents in Vanderhoof and Nova Scotia.
Farnworth said there is always a review after such incidents, including how the emergency alert system was used.
Farnworth said the possibility that homeless people were targeted in the attack will be looked into by investigators.
Asked why information about whether the shooter used a legal or illegal firearm has not been released, even though he is dead and believed to have acted alone Yes, Farnsworth said he expects police to reveal it later.
“I expect that information will come out in due course,” Farnworth said.
Earlier, Premier John Horgan and Farnworth issued a joint statement about the shooting.
“Our thoughts are with the victims of today’s horrific shooting in Langley and the Township of Langley, as well as their friends, family and loved ones. This senseless act of violence against members of our community is deeply disturbing and unacceptable.
“While we don’t yet know the motive behind this incident, we understand that people are concerned and fearful when events like this occur in our communities. With today’s tragic events, we all of B.C. I reaffirm our government’s commitment to combating gun violence in all communities.
“This is an active police investigation, and we ask for the public’s cooperation and assistance in this work.”
Have a story tip? Email: email@example.com
BC PoliticsIHITLangleyLangley RCMPMass Shooting