Police investigate random shooting in East Vancouver

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Random shooting in Vancouver injures innocent victim
WATCH: A seemingly random shooting in Vancouver has left a man with a .22 caliber bullet hole through his hand. It happened Tuesday morning, and as Aaron McArthur reports, it could have easily been worse – Oct 5, 2016

“I’m still trying to come to grips with the fact that I was shot.”

With his right hand still covered in a huge bandage and blood still seeping out from underneath, Thomas (not his real name) shows off a fresh gunshot wound suffered just a few hours prior. Global News agreed to not use the East Vancouver man’s real name because he was shot just blocks from his home after his night shift at a local restaurant.

“I saw a car driving towards me…literally, a random car at 3:30 in the morning. When it got near me, I saw a flash, and heard a bang, and my blood was coming out of my hand. I thought someone had thrown a firecracker at me.”

It wasn’t a firecracker. The wound was serious enough that Thomas had to be taken to hospital. Whatever it was that hit him went in through the top of his right hand and out through his palm.

The projectile missed his neck and head by just a few centimetres. Police had originally assumed it was a pellet gun, and were treating the incident as a prank gone wrong. Things changed the following morning when a shell casing was discovered at the scene.  The shell appears to be a .22 caliber, but it wasn’t something the Vancouver Police could confirm. Police have now shifted gears, however, and are treating the incident as a shooting.

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The Major Crimes section is investigating. Forensics will examine the casing to see if it matches the wound, and if it was involved in the crime. Whatever the projectile was, VPD Acting Sgt. Brian Montague says this crime is extremely concerning, especially considering there is no reason to believe the victim is engaged in any high-risk behaviour.

“He doesn’t appear to have any enemies, he doesn’t appear to have any gambling debts, he isn’t involved in gangs, and drugs from what we can tell. So unless he is hiding it really well there is nothing that would suggest he would be targeted.  The motive is unknown.”

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Thomas also has no idea who would shoot at him, or why anyone would do something so dangerous. He just wants answers.

“It was totally random,” he said. “I was just minding my own business.”

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The description of the suspect vehicle is vague. Thomas remembers it being a red car – possibly a Ford. Police are canvassing the neighbourhood looking for clues. At this point there is almost nothing to go on.

Anyone with information about a suspicious vehicle in the area of Windermere Street and East 19th Avenue early Tuesday Morning is asked to call the Vancouver Police Department.

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