UPDATED THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2 p.m.: Police say the Ford Crown Victoria car has now been recovered.
After preliminary investigations into what appeared to be three separate incidents in three B.C. cities earlier this week, RCMP have uncovered a possible link between a shooting in Vernon, a carjacking in Penticton and a police-involved shooting in Nanaimo that left one man dead.
In a news release Wednesday evening, RCMP asked for the public’s assistance in locating a 1996 grey, Ford Crown Victoria bearing B.C. licence plate DR258M, which was last seen in West Kelowna. Police also asked for any witnesses that have not yet spoken to police to come forward with information on any of the three incidents.
BREAKING: RCMP say there's a link between the fatal police-involved shooting in Nanaimo Tuesday and a Vernon shooting and Penticton carjacking on Monday. The link: This 1996 grey, Ford Crown Victoria bearing BC Licence plate DR258M
DETAILS: https://t.co/R543gs4SeO pic.twitter.com/DKhx9lHys4
— Ashley Wadhwani (@ashwadhwani) May 10, 2018
According to information provided by police, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP responded to a shooting in the 2700-block of 43 Avenue at about noon on Monday.
The alleged shooter, described as a Caucasian man, 5’9” with blonde hair, was seen leaving the area in the Ford Crown Victoria, police said.
A lone man was found in a vehicle with gunshot wounds and was taken to hospital. The 24-year-old from Vernon, as of Thursday, remained in hospital in serious condition.
At 8:35 p.m. that same day, Penticton RCMP were called to a motel in the 800-block of Westminster Avenue for a report of a man with a gun.
The man was seen in possession of a high-visibility vest and matched the description of the suspect in the Vernon shooting. The man fled before police arrived.
A short while later, at 8:46 p.m., Penticton RCMP received a report of a carjacking in the 100-block of Maple Street.
A person driving a bluish-grey Pontiac Vibe reported that a man matching the description of both previous incidents asked for a ride to the hospital to see a sick family member.
Once inside the car, the man assaulted the driver. They were forced from the vehicle in the 900-block of Main Street, Penticton, police said. The victim sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries.
#Nanaimo #policeshooting @NanaimoBulletin RCMP forensic team arriving on scene alleged police shooting BC Ferries Departure Bay Terminal.
Nearby resident said he heard shots fired. pic.twitter.com/P2YkJYGyao
— Nanaimo Bulletin (@NanaimoBulletin) May 8, 2018
At 8:35 a.m. on Tuesday, Penticton RCMP were notified that the stolen Pontiac Vibe was mobile and nearing the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal in Nanaimo. Assistance from Nanaimo RCMP was sought to arrest the suspect driver as the vehicle left the ferry.
“The vehicle was stopped by police and a takedown was initiated,” Chief Supt. Sean Sullivan, RCMP Island District commander, said Tuesday. “It resulted in what police believed was an individual with a firearm and shots were fired, resulting in the serious injuries to the suspect which later resulted in his death.
Shots were fired by police after Nanaimo RCMP officers reported that the man had a weapon.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene, which is now under investigation by the Independent Investigation Office of British Columbia.
More to come.