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Vancouver police expect retaliatory violence after ‘chilling’ gang shooting in busy area

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Vancouver police are bracing for retaliatory violence after two gunmen opened fire on their target in the busy Robson Street shopping district on Easter weekend, sending bystanders running for their lives.


CTV News has obtained video showing two masked men in a white vehicle stop behind a black vehicle and run towards it as they open fire, with the target running away as they continue to shoot at him Saturday afternoon around 5:40 p.m.


“It’s a miracle that no one was injured; it’s a miracle that nobody was killed,” VPD Sgt. Steve Addison told reporters in a briefing on Sunday, acknowledging the video as “chilling” to watch. “We had people running for cover, we had people literally running for their lives.”


Addison says that while investigators have identified the target, they won’t be releasing any information about him except that he was uninjured despite the close proximity to the gunfire, and that they believe he was targeted by the gunmen and is allegedly involved in gang activity.


Two dogs, believed to be the only occupants of the vehicle with the target, were the only reported injuries from the incident.


Vancouver’s mayor was one of thousands of people in the downtown area when the gunmen opened fire, with a Whitecaps game taking place just blocks away at 7 p.m. That event, as well as protests and the usual Saturday night crowd in the Granville entertainment district, meant there were extra police on hand to respond quickly to the shooting.


“We have a lot to work with here: lots of witnesses, lots of bystander video, lots of information to work with,” said Addison, adding that they expect the incident to fit into the pattern of the years-long Lower Mainland gang conflict. “It’s very likely that there is going to be some kind of retaliatory incident coming in the near future, whether that comes in Vancouver or somewhere else.”

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