VANCOUVER Police announced on Friday that they believe a 53-year-old woman wounded last month in Oppenheimer Park was accidentally shot by her own son.
Detectives from VPD’s Major Crime Section have completed their investigation into the October 26 shooting, but won’t be recommending charges at this time because everyone involved has been uncooperative.
“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,” said Sgt. Steve Addison. “Although we now know what happened, unfortunately everyone involved, including the victim, has been unwilling to cooperate with the police investigation.”
VPD officers began investigating after the victim turned up at hospital claiming she had been shot in the arm while in a vehicle outside Oppenheimer Park. Investigators determined the victim, who lives in Powell River, was visiting an associate who stays inside the Oppenheimer Park encampment.
The victim required surgery at hospital, and is no longer in Vancouver.
Investigators quickly identified the woman’s son as the suspected 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 VPD later that week for another violent offence. At that time, VPD officers seized a gun that was likely used in the Oppenheimer shooting.
“This is another example how the proliferation of firearms and the cavalier attitude towards weapons is putting people in harm’s way in the Downtown Eastside,” noted Addison.
“Our front-line officers continue to regularly take knives, guns, and other improvised weapons off the street.”
VPD encourages anyone who has been the victim of crime, or who has information about a crime, to call 9-1-1 immediately so police can investigate.