Victim in Yaletown shooting described as ‘great guy’

VANCOUVER – The victim of a shooting in Yaletown Tuesday morning remains in hospital in stable but critical condition.

Global News has identified him as 52-year-old Paul Dragan, the owner of Reckless Cycles in Yaletown.

Police have not released the victim’s identity.

There are unconfirmed reports Dragan was shot by an ex-employee when he was crossing the street to go to Starbucks.

Reporter John Daly has known Dragan for years and described him as a “great guy” and an avid cyclist.

He has always been passionate about bike safety and teaching others how to be safe riding bikes, especially kids. Dragan has a young son himself.

He is extremely well-known in the cycling community.

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Daly described him as a “very soft spoken, helpful guy. He would just bend over backwards for you,” he added.

Global News has done numerous stories with Dragan. In 2011 Dragan donated a bike to a man who rode his bike all the way from Victoria to Vancouver. It was his only mode of transportation and it was stolen as he recovered from a life-saving kidney transplant.

Dragan stepped up to give him a new set of wheels.

Dr. Clifford Chase, who works at the Aquarius Medical Clinic, was near the scene when the shooting happened. He rushed to help Dragan.

“His legs were bent up behind him so I took his legs out and he was barely breathing, he was unconscious,” said Chase. “And I could see that he was in obvious distress.”

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He kept his airway open and helped put in an IV when the paramedics arrived.

“He was in rough shape,” added Chase.

Global News has learned two police officers were coincidentally at the Starbucks when the shooting broke out around 11:30 a.m.

Those two officers were able to help protect the victim and then chase the suspect to Science World. They commandeered two bikes from people in the area and then followed the suspect.

At Science World, gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and police.

Vancouver Police say one of their officers was injured, along with the suspected gunman in that shootout.

The female officer, who has been on the force for almost two years, was hit by flying glass as a result of the gunfire. She was not shot and was being treated for minor injuries.

The suspect has been taken into custody, where he remains in stable condition and is undergoing surgery. Police say he is 61 years old, but they have not released his identity, or if he is known to them.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson issued the following statement about the shooting:

“We owe tremendous thanks for the courage and fast action shown by all Vancouver Police officers who responded today to keep our city safe. This incident was a brazen attack in broad daylight, and gun violence of any kind will not be tolerated in the City of Vancouver. Today’s events underscore the need to keep supporting the important work that Chief Jim Chu and the VPD have been doing to reduce violent crime and keep our communities safe from gun crime.

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“I know this has been very upsetting for the many people who witnessed the attack, and for those who live and work in the neighbourhood.  My thoughts are with the victim, the injured officer, and their friends and families during this difficult time.”

– With files from John Daly and Peter Meiszner.