Homeless Vancouver man shot with an arrow in Downtown Eastside

Arrow assault on homeless

Vancouver police are investigating after a homeless man was shot with an arrow Thursday night in the Downtown Eastside.

“This level of callousness and disregard is shocking,” says VPD Sgt. Steve Addison. “All signs point to this being a random attack, and we’re incredibly concerned because the victim was already one of our community’s most vulnerable.”

The victim, a 22-year-old Downtown Eastside resident, was standing in front of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre at Columbia Street and East Cordova when he felt a sharp pain in his leg and realized he’d been shot.

With an arrow lodged just below his kneecap, the victim walked a block to Insite, where staff gave first aid and called 911.

VPD investigators believe the arrow was shot from the fire escape of a building on East Hastings Street. Officers later recovered a cache of real and imitation weapons from the building, including crossbows, replica assault rifles, scopes, lights and lasers.

“We believe the person who shot the arrow was either a resident or a visitor who fled before police arrived,” said Addison. “We’re continuing to collect evidence and are working hard to identify the shooter.”

Thursday’s attack comes less than a month after VPD released video of another shocking attack on a homeless man, who was pushed to the ground and repeatedly kicked by a stranger in Yaletown. That incident, which occurred around 1 a.m. on July 26, remains under investigation and no arrests have been made.

“We know that homeless and unsheltered people are already more likely to be victims of crime than those who are housed,” said Addison. “We are doing everything possible to identify the people who did this and hold them accountable.”

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