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Downtown Vancouver shooting victim was not 'intended target,' police say

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A man who was shot in the face in downtown Vancouver earlier this month was an innocent bystander, according to an update from authorities.

Insp. Mike Rowe, the officer in charge of the Vancouver Police Department's Major Crime Section, confirmed the details at a news conference Tuesday after charges were laid in the April 3 shooting, which happened near the intersection of Pender and Homer streets around 8 p.m.

"When police arrived they found of a 46-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds to the face. The victim was rushed to hospital for treatment and while he is expected to survive, his physical and emotional injuries will be long-lasting," Rowe said, later adding that the victim is "lucky to be alive."

The suspect allegedly fled the scene and no arrests were made at the time.

"His identity was not immediately known and neither was the motive for the shooting or the circumstances," Rowe said.

"For nearly two weeks, our officers worked non-stop to gather and analyze forensic and video evidence from the crime scene, to interview witnesses and understand the events that lead up to the shooting."

Justin Littlewolfe, 32, has now been charged with one count of aggravated assault and one count of discharging a firearm. He remains in custody.

"I am able to confirm that the victim in this case was not the intended target of the shooting. And the victim in this case was, in fact, an innocent bystander," Rowe said.

"On behalf of the Vancouver Police Department, my condolences go to the shooting victim and his loved ones. I know this arrest of these charges won't change what has happened to him but I hope this begins to provide some answers as to what was – without a doubt – an extremely traumatic and life-changing experience."

Anyone with information who has not yet spoken with police is urged to call 604-717-2541.

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