Woman shot in Coquitlam apartment building, man arrested, RCMP say
VANCOUVER -- A call for shots fired brought Coquitlam RCMP to a residential highrise near the Burnaby border where officers found a woman with what they described as a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.
People living in the condo tower say the shooting drew a heavy police response and led to a three-hour armed standoff.
It began shortly after midnight Saturday in the building on Whiting Way and Foster Avenue, one block east of North Road.
Residents reported hearing a loud bang and shortly after that the fire alarm began sounding.
“We heard a girl yelling outside of the lobby area. We kind of just heard her yelling for help. We heard the fire alarm and came downstairs,” said resident Lindsey Owens.
Once outside, she and her partner saw the female victim, who appeared to have been shot in the arm, being treated by police.
“She was rolling around holding her arm. She was pretty much covered in blood, just on the side to the left of the door there,” said Aaron Cicuto, as he pointed to an area in front of the building.
As people continued to flood out of the building, RCMP set up a perimeter with police tape, and heavily armed officers from the Emergency Response Team arrived dressed in fatigues and sporting tactical gear, including night-vision goggles.
“We all had to actually go on the other side of the street. No one was allowed to be here, and they did have weapons so we knew that it was quite serious,” said Owens.
After about three hours, police were seen coming out of the building with a man in handcuffs.
Police also brought evidence bags out of the building.
RCMP say the 21-year-old man arrested remains in custody, but have not announced any potential charges.
Reached by phone Saturday, Coquitlam RCMP said it was early in the investigation and the detachment was not prepared to publicly share any details about what transpired.
The gun activity and heavy police presence left residents of the North Road neighbourhood concerned about safety.
Sharifa Yasin, who has lived in a nearby building for 17 years, watched the drama unfold with her four children.
“Before it was very safe, you know? But right now we’re scared, you know? Children play outside. So, we never know. Anytime, anything can happen,” she said.
For Owens, it hit even closer to home, as her building became a crime scene.
“It’s definitely unsettling knowing that someone in the building had a weapon and used it,” she said. “Regardless if you’re involved or not.”