A shooter attacked multiple homeless people on Monday in a Vancouver suburb, Canadian police reported, saying a suspect was in custody.
Most of the shootings were in downtown Langley, a town of 26,000 about 48 kilometres southeast of Vancouver. One reported shooting was in neighbouring Langley Township.
Police offered no immediate word on the suspect’s motive or identity.
Sergeant Rebecca Parslow of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said she had no details on the conditions of the victims.
After the shooting began, ambulances and police vehicles converged at a mall. The area was cordoned off with yellow police tape, and a major intersection was closed. A black tent was set up over one of the crime scenes.
An unmarked police SUV at one of the shooting scenes had at least seven bullet holes in the windshield and one through the driver’s window.
Police issued a cellphone alert at about 6:30 am local time (3:30 pm CET), telling people to avoid the area and describing the suspected shooter. Another alert later said that the suspect was in custody and was believed to be solely responsible for the attacks.
A homicide team confirmed on social media that its investigators deployed to Langley to help.
Mass shootings are less common in Canada than in the neighbouring United States. The deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history happened in 2020 when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across the province of Nova Scotia, killing 22 people.
The country overhauled its gun-control laws after an attacker named Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself in 1989 at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college.
It is now illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon in Canada. To purchase a weapon, the country also requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and criminal record checks.