After a woman was shot and wounded in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park last month, police say they now believe the shooting was accidental in nature, and that the 53-year-old’s son was responsible.
In a release on Friday, the Vancouver Police Department said detectives 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 VPD Sgt. Steve Addison. “Although we now know what happened, unfortunately everyone involved, including the victim, has been unwilling to cooperate with the police investigation.”
Police began investigating after the victim turned up at hospital claiming she had been shot in the arm while in a vehicle outside Oppenheimer Park. The victim required surgery at hospital and is no longer in Vancouver.
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Investigators determined the victim, who lives in Powell River, “was visiting an associate” who currently resides at the Oppenheimer Park tent encampment.
Investigators 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 thirties – was arrested by VPD later that week for another violent offence. And it was during that arrest that 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,” said Addison. “Our front-line officers continue to regularly take knives, guns, and other improvised weapons off the street.”