Vancouver police now believe that the woman shot near Oppenheimer Park last month was accidentally shot by her own son.
Police began investigating the incident after the victim, a 53-year-old Powell River woman, turned up at the hospital Oct. 26 claiming that she had been shot while in a vehicle on Dunlevy Avenue near Oppenheimer Park. Police said it was determined that the woman was visiting a man who was staying in the encampment at the park.
She required surgery as a result of her injury and has since left Vancouver.
Media relations officer Sgt. Steve Addison said Friday that investigators quickly identified the woman’s son as the shooter and believe he accidentally discharged the gun while speaking to her near the vehicle. The suspect, a man in his 30s, was arrested by police later that week for another violent offense. At that time, officers seized the gun that is believed to have been used in the shooting.
“VPD investigators worked diligently for the past month to solve this crime, which caused significant concern in the community and drew more negative attention to the park,” Addison said. “Although we now know what happened, unfortunately everyone involved, including the victim, has been unwilling to cooperate with the police investigation.”
He said that police won’t be recommending charges at this time because everyone involved has been uncooperative.
The shooting was the fifth in the Downtown Eastside since September.
Four shootings were reported in the Downtown Eastside in the span of a week near the end of September. The first two happened on Sept. 22 within two hours of one another — near East Hastings Street and Dunlevy Avenue and another in the area of East Pender and Abbott streets — followed by a Sept. 23 incident at the Grand Union Hotel.
A 35-year-old Surrey man was then shot Sept. 29 near East Hastings and Heatley Avenue.
The VPD also busted a murder plot by arresting three street gang members who were allegedly planning to kill a rival drug trafficker who operates near Oppenheimer earlier in October.