Three people, including a suspected gunman, were killed in a shooting in the Canadian province of British Columbia early Monday, police said.
The shooting began around midnight in the Vancouver suburb of Langley and four people, believed to be a male gunman, were shot, police said. Two men were found dead and another man and woman were injured. The woman is being treated in hospital in critical condition.
By the time the shooter was located, police said the victim was injured and officers were pronounced dead at the scene.
“We are still investigating to find out if the gunman acted alone. While the investigation is ongoing, all indications are that no one else was involved and there is no further threat to public safety,” Regional Royal Chief Superintendent Ghalib Bhayani said. The Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) force said at a press conference.
The shooting took place in at least five different locations throughout the city of Langley and Langley Township. Police asked the public to evacuate several areas, including the casino parking lot and bus stop.
Authorities issued an emergency alert for multiple shootings involving “transient victims,” leading to suggestions that the victims were homeless.
But Sergeant David Lee of the RCMP’s homicide investigation team said it could not be confirmed that the victims were homeless and officers were still trying to determine if they had any connection to the gunman.
The shooter and the victims have been identified, but police have not released that information.
The alert described the suspect as a white man wearing overalls and a camouflage T-shirt.
A Reuters witness saw two black SUVs similar to those used by police emergency response teams in a ditch near one of the shooting sites. One vehicle had bullet holes in its windshield.
Multiple shootings are much less common in Canada than in the United States. Canada has stricter gun laws than its southern neighbor, although Canadians are allowed to own guns as long as they have a license.
Canada’s worst mass shooting occurred in 2020, when a gunman driving a fake police car shot and killed 13 people and set nine others on fire in Portapic, Nova Scotia.
While Canada’s gun homicide rate is less than one-fifth of the U.S. rate, it is higher than in other wealthy countries and is rising, according to Statistics Canada.
In May, Ottawa introduced legislation to implement a “national freeze” on the sale and purchase of handguns, a week after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.