Kamloops Mounties probe murder in downtown motel

The Feb. 13 shooting death of a man in a room at the Howard Johnson Inn is the city's first homicide of 2021 and is believed to be linked to the drug trade.

Kamloops Mounties are investigating the shooting death of a man at a downtown motel a killing police say is likely linked to the drug trade.

On Saturday, Feb. 13, at 7:50 p.m., Sgt. Jeff Bingley said, officers responded to a call of shots fired at the Howard Johnson Motel at 530 Columbia Street.

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Bingley said police found the victim in one of the motel’s units.

“Based on the preliminary investigation, this event appears to be targeted and related to the illicit drug trade,” Bingley said.

As of Sunday at 8:30 a.m., there was nobody in custody, though Bingley said the general public is not in danger as the shooting was targeted.

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call the Kamloops RCMP 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

The same motel was the scene in December of a stabbing that police say was also likely connected to the drug trade.

On Dec. 2, 2020, police were called to investigate a report of a man being stabbed multiple times.

The victim, who is known to police as being involved in the local drug trade, was treated at Royal Inland Hospital for his injuries.

The police investigation found video surveillance of a suspect leaving the room and Mounties released the footage video in a bid to identify him.

While the motel has had a stabbing and now a murder, it was not among the 10 hotels and motels served nuisance property notices last fall by the city due to criminal, bylaws and fire activity.

On Oct. 22, 2020, the city declared 10 motels and hotels nuisance properties: the Star Lodge, Desert Inn, Knights Inn, Columbia Motor Lodge, Ramada Inn, Hospitality Inn, Panorama Inn, Best Western Plus, Grandview Hotel, all aong West Columbia Street in Lower Sahali, and the Acadian Motor Inn at 1390 Columbia St. downtown.

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