Police are searching for suspects and the intended target in a mid-afternoon shooting in South Vancouver.

The incident occurred shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Friday in the area of 50th Avenue and Main Street.

Police say the shooter was targeting someone, but the bullets struck local businesses instead.

At least one bullet hole could be seen in the window of a physiotherapy clinic on 50th Avenue.

CTV News has learned the employees and customers were inside the clinic at the time of the shooting.

There was another bullet hole in a sandwich board in front of a barbershop on the other side of the street.

Witnesses said they heard several shots and saw at least one person running away from the scene.

“We heard the sound—‘bang, bang, bang’—about seven times,” said Prem Singh, who works in the area. “The storekeeper said it sounds like Diwali firecrackers, but then, it turned out (to be) something else. After a few minutes, we heard there was shooting.”

It’s unclear how many suspects were involved in the incident.

Police do not believe the target of the shooting, who fled the scene, is injured, but the incident has left nearby residents on edge.

“It’s pretty scary knowing that you live just a couple of blocks from here…You’re walking by and things like this are happening in your neighbourhood,” said Jaden Clare.

Heavily armed officers patrolled the neighbourhood after the incident. A police helicopter was surveilling the area from above and a canine unit was also on scene.

Investigators combed the area for bullet fragments and casings. They also seemed especially interested in a black Toyota in a back alley behind the businesses that were hit by gunfire. The vehicle was towed away late Friday afternoon.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the VPD at 604-717-3321.

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson