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Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Gang shooting at airport

UPDATE: 9:35 p.m.

Police believe the shooting death of a 28-year-old man outside the departure terminal at Vancouver International Airport is linked to the ongoing gang conflict that has gripped British Columbia's Lower Mainland.

Sgt. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says an SUV with at least two people inside was seen leaving the scene.

A short time later, fire crews in Surrey were called to the scene of a vehicle fire in a back alley, about 28 kilometres from the airport.

Jang says they are looking for dashcam video of those who were in the area Sunday afternoon to help with their investigation.

RCMP said earlier Sunday that some of their officers intercepted the getaway vehicle and were shot at, but no officers were injured and the suspects got away.

There's been a string of shootings in Metro Vancouver over the last several days, including the murder of a prison corrections officer in the parking lot of a busy Delta, B.C., shopping mall.

Delta's police chief said last week all police departments in B.C.'s Lower Mainland were working on the shootings.

Neil Dubord acknowledged the "anxiety" around the very public shootings, saying they showed a "shocking" disregard for public safety.

Jang says the victim of Sunday's shooting was known to police.

The Canadian Press


UPDATE: 7:50 p.m.

A man was shot dead at the departure terminal outside Vancouver International Airport on Sunday afternoon, investigators said as they searched for suspects who allegedly shot at police while fleeing the scene.

No officers were hurt when shots were fired from the getaway vehicle police had intercepted shortly after the shooting, Richmond RCMP said in a statement on Twitter.

There are no suspects in custody, they said.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, which is now handling the probe into the shooting death, said it planned to hold a news conference Sunday night.

Investigators didn't say how many suspects they're looking for, or provide a description of the getaway vehicle.

Traffic cones blocked a section of the international and Canadian departure areas at the airport, while tall, white screens in front of an entrance shielded the crime scene.

Inside the terminal, yellow police tape restricted the same doorway and most of the shops in the area were closed.

The Vancouver Airport Authority said in a statement that RCMP responded to the incident outside the main terminal on Sunday afternoon.

It said the airport is open and safe for airport workers and those who need to travel.

"Our thoughts are with those impacted by today’s incident."

It said the safety and security of its employees, community and passengers remains its priority and it is fully co-operating with RCMP to support the investigation.

Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a statement on Twitter that the shooting was disturbing news.

"My thoughts are with the communities in the Lower Mainland who have been impacted by gun and gang violence far too often, particularly over the last week," Blair said.

There's been a string of shootings in Metro Vancouver over the last several days, including two separate daytime shooting deaths in the parking lots of busy shopping malls.

Police said both were targeted killings. One of the victims was a prison corrections officer.

The airport is located on Sea Island in Richmond, B.C., the neighbouring city to Vancouver.

Shortly after the shooting, police temporarily closed all connecting bridges on the island and shut down the SkyTrain line to and from the airport.

The Canadian Press


UPDATE 6:30 p.m.

Police are hunting for suspects after a man was shot and killed at the departure terminal of the Vancouver International Airport.

A statement on Twitter from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says it has sent officers to the scene of the shooting on Sunday.

Richmond RCMP says officers intercepted a getaway vehicle shortly after the 3 p.m. shooting, and were allegedly shot at by the suspects.

They say no officers were injured, but the suspects got away.

Investigators didn't say how many suspects they're looking for, or provide any descriptions.

Traffic cones are blocking off a section of the international and Canada departure areas at the airport, and police have erected tall, white screens in front of an entrance, blocking off the scene of the crime.

Inside the terminal, yellow police tape has restricted the same doorway and most of the shops in the area are closed.

The Vancouver Airport Authority says in a statement that RCMP responded to the incident outside the main terminal on Sunday afternoon, but it referred all other questions to police.

It says the airport is open and safe for airport workers and those who need to travel.

"Our thoughts are with those impacted by today’s incident."

Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a statement on Twitter that the shooting was disturbing news.

"My thoughts are with the communities in the Lower Mainland who have been impacted by gun and gang violence far too often, particularly over the last week," Blair said.

There's been a string of shootings in Metro Vancouver over the last several days, including two separate daytime shooting deaths in busy shopping malls.

Police said both were targeted killings. One of the victims was a prison corrections officer.

The airport authority statement recommended anyone flying in or out of the airport to check with their airline to confirm their flight status.

"The safety and security of our employees, community and passengers remains our priority, and we are fully co-operating with RCMP to support the investigation."

The airport is located on Sea Island in Richmond, B.C., the neighbouring city to Vancouver.

Shortly after the shooting, police temporarily closed all connecting bridges on the island and shut down the SkyTrain line to and from the airport.

The Canadian Press


UPDATE 4:55 p.m.

An earlier shooting had Richmond RCMP close off major routes in and out of the city on Sunday afternoon.

The shooting, which happened outside YVR's main terminal, is still under investigation.

"We are working with the RCMP and responding to reports of a police incident outside YVR main terminal," reads a Twitter post from YVR airport.

It added that the airport is still open and safe with restricted access.

Video footage which the poster claims was taken moments after an apparent shooting, showed an individual on the ground, bullet casings and an RCMP officer just outside the airport.

Routes including the Massey Tunnel, Arthur Laing, Oak, Alex Fraser, Queensborough and Knight St. bridges were closed off, but have since been re-opened.

Canada Line service to YVR airport has also resumed.

The incident is causing major traffic delays in several areas of the city.


ORIGINAL 4:45 p.m.

The Vancouver International Airport says there's been a "police incident" outside its main terminal.

It says it's working with the RCMP to respond to the incident, but did not provide details.

The airport says in a tweet that it's currently "open and safe, with restricted access."

DriveBC says most major routes and bridges around Richmond, B.C., were blocked due to the incident, though they have since reopened.

TransLink BC also suspended SkyTrain service to the airport for about a half hour.

Police have yet to comment publicly on the matter.



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