Vancouver police are questioning several people of interest after 10 people were injured in a gang-related shooting early Sunday.
Six men and three women were being treated for gunshot wounds, and two of them are in critical condition. A 10th victim refused treatment, police said.
Just after 2 a.m. PT, police got calls about shots being fired near Oak Street and W. 22nd Avenue.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found people with gunshot wounds in the 3800 block of Oak Street. Additional victims were found on the street a short distance away, while others turned up over the next hour at local hospitals.
Police are interviewing several people of interest, but no charges have been laid.
"This has been an outrageous display of gang violence and gun violence in our city," said Vancouver police Const. Jana McGuinness.
"This incident will be very concerning to the public, very concerning to residents in the area it'll no doubt anger people as well and we share those concerns. We have an enormous team dedicated to collecting evidence and finding out who is responsible."
McGuinness said early information suggests shots were fired on the street. She said it appears to be a single shooter as there are no reports of an exchange of gunfire at this point.
She said the investigation is continuing but the shooting is believed to be gang-related. It was a targeted shooting, she said, and there is no risk to the public.
While several people are being interviewed by police, she said it is too early to say if police have found the shooter. McGuinness would not say whether any of the victims or those being interviewed are known to police.
"There has been activity in recent weeks in the Lower Mainland that's been well-publicized but we don't know at this point exactly what precipitated this incident," she said.
"The reality is that we can never rest when it comes to gang violence. We have to be cautious and we have to be continuing investigations and sharing information with our outside agency partners because gang violence moves around this region all the time and unfortunately it came home to Vancouver last night."
Mayor heard shots
In a written statement released Sunday afternoon, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said he heard the gunshots from his nearby home.
"Like many people in the neighbourhood, I too heard gunshots while I was at home early this morning," the statement read.
"Any time an incident like this happens it is very disturbing. I know all of us in the area are extremely concerned about this shocking public display of gun violence. This type of brazen gang activity is unacceptable in our city."
Jimie Douglas, who has lived in the area for more than two years, said he was awakened by the gunfire.
"I woke up to a round of shots, like maybe five or six shots," he said. "I came out about five minutes later and there was a woman crying and screaming."
Douglas said it sounded as though the shots were all fired with the same gun, and said he does not believe there was an exchange of gunfire.
"I think 10 people getting shot is pretty surprising in your own neighbourhood. You don't expect that," he said.
"I feel pretty safe because I'm not involved in that. I think this is pretty targeted. I'm not too worried about these people, I think they just kill themselves and that's how it goes. Stray bullets yeah, I kind of thought about that. That's pretty uncool. I can't imagine anyone taking a gun and just shooting 10 shots in any direction."
Oak Street was closed to traffic in both directions from W. 22nd Avenue to King Edward Avenue for most of the day Sunday while police combed a crime scene that covered four city blocks.
McGuinness encouraged anyone who might find anything suspicious or unusual in the area to contact police.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vancouver Police Department at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.