Bear spray released at scene of first Vancouver homicide of 2017

Joseph Billy Bustinski shot at Savoy Hotel at around 10:30 p.m. Jan. 28

Vancouver’s first homicide victim of the year is identified as 62-year-old Joseph Billy Bustinski, who was hospitalized Saturday night after he was shot at the Savoy Hotel on East Hastings St.

Bustinski died shortly after the shooting, which police say does not appear to be random. 

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Bear spray was also released inside the four-storey hotel, making it difficult for police to breathe in the building. Photos taken at the scene outside the building through an upper-storey window show officers on an upper floor wearing gas masks.

“The officers fought through the effects of the bear spray and discovered a man inside the hotel suffering from a gunshot wound,” according to the Vancouver Police Department.

Officers carried the man outside and performed CPR until paramedics took over, but he died of his wounds shortly after. 

Detectives continue to investigate. No arrests have been made.

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