VANCOUVER -- A judge has found Carleton Stevens not guilty of attempted murder in the shooting of his 6-and-a-half months pregnant ex-girlfriend at an East Vancouver print shop on May 18, 2018.

The victim, whose identity is protected by a publication ban and was referred to in court as J.Y., had been sleeping at the shop to get away from Stevens, the presumed father of her unborn child.

In her ruling, Justice Jennifer Duncan found Stevens broke into the shop and fired a single shot that struck the then 31-year-old in the stomach.

But Justice Duncan says because evidence showed the bullet passed through the arm of print shop employee Taj Lovett before hitting J.Y., she wasn't convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that J.Y. was the intended target, or that Stevens was trying to kill her.

J.Y. was rushed to hospital where doctors found the bullet had severed her unborn child’s umbilical cord, and the fetus did not survive. That bullet is still imbedded in J.Y.’s body near her spine.

During the trial, prosecutors introduced text messages showing after the two broke up, Stevens threatened J.Y. and Lovett in the weeks leading up the shooting.

Lovett, who was close friends with Stevens before the two men had a falling out over J.Y., refused to co-operate with police or testify at trial.

Justice Duncan said she could not rule out Lovett as Stevens' intended target. But because he was charged with attempting to murder J.Y., she could only rule on that count.

Stevens still faces a charge for possession of a firearm.