Police are continuing their hunt for an armed suspect after a transit officer was shot at a SkyTrain station in Surrey Wednesday.
RCMP say the officer received serious but not life-threatening injuries and was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.
Black Press Media has learned the officer’s name is Joshua Harms and that he was shot on the Scott Road SkyTrain platform twice in the arm. Harms is described as a “high flier” and an “excellent cop who digs and gets valid arrests.”
Sgt. Clint Hampton with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police said Harms, 27, has three years with the force, and that he was working his regular patrol shift when he was shota around 4:20 p.m.
“Our chief recently checked in with Constable Harms at the hospital. He’s in good spirits and where he needs to be,” Hampton said.
— Surrey RCMP (@SurreyRCMP) January 31, 2019
At a news conference Wednesday night, Surrey’s top cop Dwayne McDonald said Mounties are working with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team and the Integrated Police Dog Services. Police had “two areas of containment” – King George Boulevard to 144 Avenue and 125A Street to 124 Street.
Scott Road station, McDonald said, was closed and “no new vehicles can enter the area,” but police were escorting people into the parking lots to get their vehicles.
A report from one resident says officers surrounded a house near the station and a loud explosion was heard.
McDonald confirmed a house was surrounded, and police were “clearing a residence,” but wouldn’t elaborate. He also said police are talking to a “substantial amount” of witnesses and that about 80 officers are involved in the active investigation.
The station is closed, but people are able to come and get their cars. pic.twitter.com/YGp59TxcYm
— Lauren Collins (@laurenpcollins1) January 31, 2019
McDonald said the suspect is described a man in his 20s with “dark skin, dark stubble, goatee and a mustache,” wearing a blue hoodie and Nike running shoes.
“We are still asking people to avoid the area. For residents who live within the containment area, we are asking you to stay inside and lock your doors. Please turn on any exterior lights and call 911 if you see anything suspicious and please do not attempt to apprehend the suspect if you see him or encounter him,” McDonald said.
“We have flooded the area with officers. This is an evolving situation and the public in that area could be at risk, which is why we’re trying to apprehend the suspect as quick as possible.”
Surrey RCMP have also set up a tip line for people to call: 604-502-6284.
We can confirm that at approximately 4pm, a Transit Police officer was shot at Scott Road SkyTrain Station and has been taken to hospital. @SurreyRCMP is leading the active investigation. Media Release to follow from Surrey RCMP.
— Sgt. Clint Hampton (@SgtCHampton) January 31, 2019
This is the first time a transit officer has been shot anywhere along the SkyTrain line.
In 1974, Surrey RCMP Const. Roger Pierlet was only 23 when he was shot and killed in Cloverdale. An overpass on 176 Street near Highway 10 was later dedicated in Pierlet’s name.