Police pressed on public safety after terrifying White Rock shooting

Click to play video: 'Questions for RCMP after White Rock shooting'
Questions for RCMP after White Rock shooting
Some serious questions for RCMP after a shooting in White Rock sent dozens of bullets flying through a quiet neighbourhood and sent four men to hospital. Rumina Daya reports – Feb 23, 2024

Terrifying video of a White Rock, B.C., shooting using high-powered weapons early Thursday morning is raising new questions about what police can do to protect public safety in Metro Vancouver.

The attack happened shortly after midnight in a driveway near Roper Avenue and Parker Street. Security video shows at least three shooters unloading on two SUVs with what appear to be fully automatic weapons, spraying more than 100 bullets in a matter of seconds.

The attack left four men in hospital, and the neighbourhood rattled.

Click to play video: 'White Rock shooting captured on surveillance camera'
White Rock shooting captured on surveillance camera

One neighbour, who Global News is not identifying for safety reasons, awoke to find one of the victims’ vehicle in his backyard and a man bleeding on the lawn.

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“I was sleeping, I heard the gunshots, I thought it was fireworks — but then I heard some car sounds, I woke up, I looked out my window and I saw the guy laying down, the cops were trying to help him,” he said.

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“I was like, ‘What the hell is happening?'”

The man said his brothers were awake in the living room at the time — and that it was mere luck that one of the torrents of bullets didn’t enter the home and hit someone.

“If the bullet hit that door it would have gone straight into the living room where my brothers were sitting,” he said.

On Friday, RCMP unveiled a major unrelated organized crime bust, showing off guns and drugs and announcing eight arrests, including one man accused in a gang-related murder plot.

Mounties said they are well aware of the public concern over escalating gang conflict, but pleaded for patience — noting major investigations can take months, even years.

Click to play video: 'Shooting in White Rock sends 4 people to hospital'
Shooting in White Rock sends 4 people to hospital

“The proof is in the pudding for the lack of a better expression — this is the pudding — when you arrest significant organized crime targets that are involved in the local gang conflict with weapons, poisoning our communities throughout B.C.,” Supt. David Teboul of the Federal Serious Organized Crime unit said of the bust.

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“These are the types of targets that the federal policing program is focused on, and these are the results that we’ve worked hard over many months, arguably 18 months to produce.”

Thursday’s shooting, employing weapons rarely — if ever — seen in the Lower Mainland, is the most alarming in a string of increasingly brazen shootings — several in broad daylight.

Click to play video: 'Daring daytime Surrey shooting caught on surveillance camera'
Daring daytime Surrey shooting caught on surveillance camera

A key source of the firepower, according to police, is smugglers operating over the U.S. border.

“I would like to see more investment, at all levels, into our border integrity program,” Teboul said. “It will take millions of dollars.”

On Friday, B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said police “are doing everything they can” to intercept guns — but also pointed to the border as a problem.

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“What we want to see is stepped up inspection sat our border crossings, more resources given.”

Neighbours Global News spoke with back in White Rock, meanwhile, say they fear the attack could be repeated if someone involved decides to retaliate.

— with files from Rumina Daya

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