It’s been five years since downtown Vancouver was set ablaze by hundreds of rioters as the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final.
The riot caused millions of dollars in damages and led to a prodigious effort to single out those responsible.
The investigation that was launched in the days after the riot in 2011 has only just wrapped up this year, with the last two rioters getting sentenced to time behind bars in February, officially bringing the prosecutions for the crimes committed during the riot to a close.
The riot erupted in the final moments of Game 7 between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins on June 15, 2011. The mob flipped and burned cars, smashed windows, looted stores and attacked several people, including Robert Mackay, who was punched, kicked and pepper sprayed as he tried to stop looting at The Bay store.
A report found total damage caused by the riot was just over $3.7 million. There were 112 businesses and 122 vehicles damaged, and 52 assaults were reported against civilians, police and emergency personnel.
London Drugs was badly looted during the riot and even sued the rioters for the lost merchandise. ICBC filed a civil claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against 46 people who have been charged or convicted for their actions in the Stanley Cup riot.
The prosecution process alone cost the taxpayers nearly $5 million.
READ MORE: Global BC reporter Ted Field reflects on his night covering the riot – “Stanley Cup riot and the power of the smartphone”
An extensive investigation to identify the rioters was launched soon after the riot, with the Vancouver Police launching a website where anyone could submit pictures of suspected rioters. In fall 2011, they sent a team of investigators to Indianapolis to forensically process the massive amount of raw photos and video that were received in the aftermath of the riot.
In the end, 300 alleged rioters, including 54 youths, faced 912 charges. All but 16 of the accused pleaded guilty.
The longest jail sentence served was 20 months, with seven days being the shortest sentence.
The bulk of the jail sentences served varied in range from 30 to 90 days.
Only 17 per cent of people charged in the riot had a prior criminal record.
READ MORE: Global BC anchor Chris Gailus was anchoring News Hour on the evening of June 15, 2011 in downtown Vancouver. He reminisces about how that eventful night unfolded – “Chris Gailus: Stanley Cup Riot, 5 years later”
An independent review of the riot pointed to significant challenges and planning misses and also noted the heroic effort made to bring the riotous behaviour under control. The report also looked into how excessive alcohol fueled the evening, providing it with a reckless energy.
Global BC reporters and camera men were out in the field on June 15, 2011, covering this developing story.
Here is a look back at some of the stories that aired on our station that night.
WATCH: Global BC News Hour co-host Chris Gailus was in the middle of the chaos on the night of the Stanley Cup riot on June 15, 2011. Gailus was reporting live from downtown Vancouver as the crowds around him smashed windows, burned cars and disobeyed police orders. **Original air date: June 15, 2011**
WATCH: Rampant looting was widespread during the Stanley Cup Riot. Rumina Daya reports on the damage inflicted by the rioters who flooded into stores around downtown Vancouver on June 15, 2011, to steal merchandise in the middle of chaos. **Original air date: June 2011**
WATCH: Social media played a major role — both good and bad — in the story of the 2011 Stanley Cup riot. The people causing the chaos used social media to co-ordinate their destruction. And as Darlene Heidemann reports, some of those people took to the web to brag about their part in the riots. **Original air date: June 2011**
WATCH: The Stanley Cup riot of 2011 was not the first time Vancouver streets saw rioting hockey fans. Ted Field looks back at what happened in 1994 and why the city has not learned its lessons from it. **Original air date: June 2011**
With files from the Canadian Press