The RCMP has confirmed that two are dead and two others are in hospital with gunshot injuries, after a shooting at a Nanaimo mill early Wednesday morning.
The shooting happened just before 7 a.m. at the Western Forest Products sawmill, north of Victoria.
The RCMP say they received multiple calls about shots being fired and officers immediately responded, with the first officer arriving three minutes after the original call came in.
A lone male suspect was arrested without incident a few minutes later by an Emergency Response Team member. No other suspects were found.
“I want to stress that at this time we have no indication that there are any other suspects involved in this incident,” said Nanaimo RCMP Detachment Commander Supt. Mark Fisher. “At this time it also appears the suspect, now in custody, acted alone. Early indications are that there may be a connection between the suspect and the company. The suspect is 47 years old and a resident of Nanaimo.”
Western Forest Products CEO Don Demens later confirmed the man arrested is a former worker at the mill, but he was unsure of his motive.
Police say the man started shooting in the parking lot and then continued inside the mill, which is located in an industrial area near Nanaimo’s downtown core and waterfront.
“The families and mill employees will now have to cope with the tragedy that unfolded here today. As does the community of Nanaimo,” said Supt. Fisher. “It’s going to be a challenge, but as detachment commander, and a long-time resident of Vancouver Island, I can confirm this type of violence is extremely rare.”
The investigation into the shooting is being led by the Nanaimo RCMP Serious Crime Unit.
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