Police are investigating and raising public concern after a late night shooting in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
On Wednesday night around 10:30 pm, VPD patrol officers heard gunshots at Oppenheimer Park.
Upon arrival, a 31-year-old Vancouver man was found near the intersection of Powell Street and Jackson Avenue with a gunshot wound.
The wound was non-life threatening and the man was transported to the hospital, where he remains in stable condition. Officers cleared the tents in the park to ensure that others in the vicinity were unharmed.
It’s believed that the suspect fled the scene on foot.
The investigation, which is being handled by the VPD’s Major Crime Section, remains ongoing. No arrests have been made.
An increase in violence at Oppenheimer Park
The VPD has also raised concern about the safety risk associated with Oppenheimer Park.
“There has been a sharp increase in the level of violence in and around the encampment at Oppenheimer Park in recent months,” says Sergeant Jason Robillard of the VPD in an email.
“Police are responding to several 911 calls in the park every day and we are very concerned about the safety of the people staying there, our officers, firefighters, and City of Vancouver staff.”
Police say that in the last month alone, there were 92 emergency calls in the park, representing a 65% increase from 2018. May also saw an increase of 57%, seeing 87 calls compared to the 56 in 2018.
“We want people in the park to be safe and currently, the environment there is not safe, even for our officers,” adds Robillard. “On Wednesday, a police officer was assaulted as she tried to assist City crews working to keep the park clean.”
Anyone who witnessed the shooting on Wednesday night or has information is asked to call the VPD’s Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541.