A man killed in a police shooting at a Nanaimo ferry terminal this week may have been connected with a series of violent crimes elsewhere in the province, RCMP said Wednesday.
In a statement, BC RCMP said they were investigating what initially appeared to be two separate incidents in the Okanagan earlier this week. RCMP now believe a shooting in Vernon and a carjacking in Penticton that happened on the same day are linked.
The RCMP statement tells a story that feels ripped from a TV procedural, one that ultimately ended in the death of a man on Tuesday, May 8th.
String of crimes starts in Vernon
On May 7th, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP issued a news release seeking information for a shooting that occurred at noon in Vernon.
Police responded and found a lone male in a vehicle with gunshot wounds who was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The alleged shooter was described as Caucasian, 5’9″, with blonde hair, and was seen leaving the area in a 1996 grey Ford Crown Victoria. The vehicle was last seen in West Kelowna about an hour and a half after the shooting in Vernon.
Suspect headed west towards the coast
At 8:35 p.m., Penticton RCMP were called to a motel for a report of a man with a gun matching the description of the suspect in Vernon.
Shortly after, police received another report of a carjacking several blocks away from the motel. The victim, driving a bluish-grey Pontiac Vibe, said the suspect got into the vehicle and forced the victim out after asking for a ride to the hospital to visit a sick family member.
At 8:35 a.m. on May 8th, Penticton RCMP were notified that the victim’s stolen vehicle was on a ferry making its way to the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal in Nanaimo.
Nanaimo RCMP were called to assist in the arrest of the suspect. As previously reported, a suspect was killed by police in the exit lane of the terminal.
Investigators are now working to determine if the various incidents are connected, whether to a single individual or if others are involved.