A 38 year-old male suspect is in custody for his alleged role in a series of shootings involving passenger and commercial motor vehicles around Highway 97 in British Columbia.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say the suspect, who is in custody but has not been identified, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm. RCMP Sgt. Annie Linteau says additional charges against the suspect are under consideration. The suspect has a court appearance scheduled for March 29.
The highway shootings spanned an eight-hour period beginning Friday, March 24, at 8:30 p.m. and culminated with the suspect’s arrest on the Ford Mountain Forest Road at 3:35 p.m. on March 25.
The RCMP issued a news release on March 24 seeking the public’s assistance in locating the subject’s vehicle following a series of highway shootings. The suspect vehicle was described as a 2009, blue Dodge Caliber sedan, bearing Ontario license plate CAVM918. Linteau said the suspect vehicle is also in police custody.
Reports of shots fired at a passenger vehicle and semi-trucks were received from multiple communities including Houston, Burns Lake, Vanderhoof, Clucuz Lake, Prince George, Quesnel and 100 Mile House.
No injuries were reported in the vehicle shootings; however, Linteau says that one man, a 39-year-old hiker from Chilliwack, was shot and suffered non-life threatening injuries on Saturday, shortly before police apprehended the suspect. The victim was reportedly hiking in the area where the suspect was arrested, when he was allegedly shot by the suspect. Linteau said the victim was able to flee and find help when he came upon a group of Canadian Forces personnel and reservists who were conducting exercises in the area. Those individuals rendered first aid to the victim, who was eventually airlifted to a hospital in the Lower Mainland.
“Our information is that the victim had gone for a hike in the area with his dog and just happened to be in the area when he was allegedly shot by the suspect,” Linteau said in an interview with Land Line Now on Tuesday.
Linteau said the RCMP are continuing to investigate the incident. She said anybody who believes they may have been fired upon by a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle description is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency and report the incident.
News Anchor Reed Black contributed to this report.