VANCOUVER, July 26 (AP): The shaken residents of a Vancouver suburb are recovering from a gunman’s hours-long overnight rampage that killed two people and wounded two more before he was shot to death by police.
Authorities initially had said it appeared the attacker was targeting homeless people before dawn Monday, but later said the motive was under investigation. Shootings were reported at a homeless center but also at other sites.
Evidence of the blitz was scattered around Langley, including an overturned bicycle spilling personal possessions onto a street and a shopping cart with someone’s belongings.
Officials said a woman was critically wounded in the first shooting, at midnight at a casino. A man was shot to death at 3 am at a residential complex that provides support for people transitioning out of homlessness. At 5 am, the third shooting killed a second man at a bus stop. Then another man was shot in the leg near a highway bypass at 5:45 am.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said an emergency response team confronted the gunman far from the fourth attack. Officers fatally shot him, said Ghalib Bhayani, an RCMP superintendent.
Police identified the suspect as Jordan Daniel Goggin, 28, of Surrey, British Columbia.
Authorities said they were working to determine the motive behind the attack. It was not known if the shooter and his victims were acquainted, Bhayani said.
He told reporters that the suspect’s death would be subject to an investigation by the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia, a civilian-led police oversight agency.
The shootings roiled Langley, a town of 29,000 people about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Vancouver. The town features a variety of shops and restaurants and almost 350 acres (142 hectares) of parks. Many residents moved there for its less expensive housing and commute to Vancouver, the largest city in the province of British Columbia.
Most of the shootings were in downtown Langley. One was in neighbouring Langley Township.
After the shooting began, ambulances and police vehicles converged at a mall. The area was cordoned off with yellow police tape and a major intersection was closed. A black tent was set up over one of the crime scenes.
An unmarked police SUV at one of the shooting scenes, near a bus depot, had at least seven bullet holes in the windshield and one through the driver’s window.
Mass shootings are less common in Canada than in the United States. The deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history happened in 2020 when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across the province of Nova Scotia, killing 22 people.
The country had overhauled its gun-control laws after an attacker killed 14 women and himself in 1989 at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college.
It is now illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon in Canada. To purchase a weapon, the country also requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and criminal record checks.