Gunshots fired at B.C. sex offender's home
Published Wednesday, April 7, 2010 7:35PM PDT
Police are asking members of the public not to take justice into their own hands after gun shots were fired at the Richmond, B.C., home of a convicted sex offender last night.
RCMP were called to the house in the 4200-block of Smith Crescent shortly after midnight on Wednesday after neighbours called to report shots fired.
Police say that several people were inside the house at the time, but no one was injured. Witnesses reported seeing several people in dark clothing at the time of the shooting.
On March 2, 17-year-old Martha Hernandez died inside the same home from a lethal mix of drugs and alcohol.
A CTV News investigation later revealed that convicted sex offender Martin Tremblay was living in the house at the time Hernandez died.
Tremblay was convicted in 2003 on five counts of sexual assault for drugging and sexually assaulting teenage girls.
He told CTV News last week that he has been questioned by police in connection with the deaths of Hernandez and her 16-year-old friend Kayla LaLonde, who died in Burnaby on the same day.
Cpl. Jennifer Pound told CTV News that police have not yet determined if Tuesday's shooting was in response to media reports about Tremblay's past.
"It's hard to say at this point whether or not it's targeted," she said.
Pound also addressed concerns that police have not issued a warning about Tremblay. She said that no charges have been laid against him and, "We cannot put out a public warning based on speculation."
New alleged victim comes forward
Two of Tremblay's former victims have already spoken with CTV News, warning young girls to stay away from him.
Their stories have convinced a third young woman to call the police to report what she says is her own experience with Tremblay.
"He pulled out a bag of ecstasy and there was lots of girls there," she alleged. "There was a bunch of bottles on the counter and he said we could have what we want."
She said she had no idea Tremblay had been to jail for drugging and sexually assaulting teenage girls.
"I passed out, and when I woke up my friends were gone and he was touching me, and I just ran away from his house."
She was upset that no warning has been issued about Tremblay.
"They do need to warn young girls…especially aboriginal girls. He thinks that we're stupid just because we don't speak up.
Foster care connection
Tremblay has a history of targeting young aboriginal girls in foster care.
Both Hernandez and LaLonde were in government care at the time of their deaths.
When CTV News caught up with Tremblay at a house on Pender Island last week, two girls were inside. It has since come to light that one of them is 16 and under government care.
The NDP's justice critic Mike Farnworth told CTV News that the Ministry of Children and Family Development needs to take a serious look at Tremblay's case.
"I think the ministry needs to do a thorough investigation into this individual and how it is that young girls, who are apparently in the care of the ministry are able to be either living with him or in his company," he said.
But Minister Mary Polak asked for patience.
"We have to be very careful not to form a conclusion before we have all the information. Right now there is a police investigation being conducted," she told CTV News.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington