A drug-related shooting in North Kamloops has left a 24-year-old Kamloops man with life-threatening injuries.
Kamloops Mounties responded to a reported fight at a residence in the 300-block of Alexander Avenue at 5:19 a.m. on Monday (Dec. 30).
Staff Sgt. Simon Pillay told KTW officers responded to 349 Alexander Dr., where police found evidence that someone had been injured. Officers on scene then realized there had been a shooting and an injured 24-year-old man was found nearby. He was taken to Royal Inland Hospital and is believed to be in serious, but stable condition, Pillay said.
Police investigators are expected to be in the area all day.
Multiple police cruisers could be found in the area Monday afternoon, including one blocking the home’s driveway backing on to an alley where what appeared to be blood could be seen in puddles along the muddy alleyway.
Police tape lined a section of the alley and an unmarked police cruiser was idling outside the home’s front entrance. Investigators could be seen canvassing the neighbourhood.
Two people were detained at the scene for questioning when police first arrived on scene were later released, Pillay said, noting police are still trying to identify suspects.
Police have not recovered a firearm at this time, he told KTW.
The shooting is believed to have been targeted as the residence and people involved are known by police as being involved in the local drug trade, Pillay said.
Asked if the incident was a one-off or related to an escalation of violence for control of the city’s drug trade, Pillay said it’s too early in the investigation to make such an assessment.
“It’s just too early to understand it in that context, but I would say this is fairly typical for Kamloops drug-related shootings in that, often times, disputes in the drug trade, even at the very lowest levels, are settled with violence,” Pillay said.
The incident, regardless of its nature, however, posed a risk to the public at large, he noted.
“Of course, when you’re discharging firearms in residential areas, it poses a risk to everybody in the vicinity,” Pillay said.
KTW spoke with a number of residents in the 300-block of Alexander Avenue Monday, none of whom recalled hearing the disturbance.
Stephanie Windston, who lives on the north side of the street, said she was unaware there was a house on the block frequented by those in the drug trade, but noted there are a few nuisance homes where she has noticed many people hanging around and coming and going.
Antone Wildes, who lives a few doors down from the house targeted by police, recalled hearing a boom-type noise that woke him up at some point during the night, but thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.
He said he has noticed some nefarious activity over the years, noting he caught someone rummaging through his garage looking for guns three years ago. However, Wildes said, for the most part the street he has called home for more than a decade is a good one with many decent residents.
Another area resident, who lives on nearby Royal Avenue, said he didn’t see anything connected to the shooting, but added he has noticed suspicious behaviour, with people congregating near the alley behind Alexander Avenue.
“This is a shitty neighbourhood for drugs and people, I think,” the man said as he stopped his pickup truck along the block to talk to KTW and Wildes on Monday afternoon.
“It’s not that bad,” Wildes replied, adding the area used to be worse.
Anyone with any information about the shooting is asked to contact Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000.