'It doesn't feel good': Second straight day of Courtenay gunfire alarms neighbours
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, June 10, 2019 8:22AM PDT
Last Updated Monday, June 10, 2019 6:49PM PDT
Police are looking for witnesses after a series of gunshots rang out for a second straight day in a Courtenay neighbourhood.
RCMP were out with police dogs Monday morning investigating after receiving multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired in the 1100-block of 10th Street near Piercy Avenue.
Cops were seen searching the neighbourhood and police tape was cordoning off an alleyway. Investigators traced back the shots to a specific property in the area and said they don't believe it was a random incident.
"It is especially important for witnesses to come forward and speak with police," said Comox Valley RCMP spokeswoman Const. Monika Terragni. "A small piece of information could be a big piece of the puzzle we are putting together."
Several Comox Valley schools were briefly placed into hold and secure because of the "armed event," the district said in a statement.
Nala'atsi, Courtenay Elementary, Lake Trail Middle School, Ecole Puntledge Park and Arden Elementary implemented the security measure out of precaution.
RCMP told the district at around 9 a.m. that it could lift the hold and secure.
Neighbour Diane Brussell said she woke to hear multiple loud bangs.
"I was laying in bed, it was time to get up, I heard a series of gunshots and then my son came in and said 'Is that a gun?'" Brussell told CTV News.
She said there was a known drug-trafficking house in the area where ambulances have been called to several times.
"It doesn't feel good, especially to our kids. They keep saying this is such a sketchy neighbourhood," said Brussell.
Another neighbour who wished to remain anonymous said something needs to be done about crime in the area.
"Bullets are flying in our tiny little neighbourhood. If they don't do something about this soon, we're going to be having innocent people [hurt], it's going to be Vancouver or Toronto all over again," she said.
Sunday shooting leaves bullet holes in businesses
The shots were fired about a block away from where gunfire was possibly exchanged early Sunday morning at Cumberland Road and Piercy Avenue.
The apparent shootout left bullet holes in two businesses and shattered a car window.
A second building appeared to have been hit and the rear windshield of an unoccupied vehicle was also shattered.
"We came across a scene where we know that shots have been fired, we know that multiple shots have been fired, but at this time we've still got investigators there who are looking into exactly what happened," Terragni said Sunday.
A person who lives near the businesses said she heard shots begin at 1:15 a.m. She said there was a brief pause before shots started up again – counting about 15 distinct shots in total.
Other people in the area reported hearing fireworks.
Police won't confirm reports of two people trading gunfire with each other and said there were no apparent injuries in the incident.
"We don't have a victim who has come forward at this time and no evidence left at the scene to indicate serious injury," said Terragni.
The shooting took place across the street from a daycare, Lighthouse Early Learning Centre.
Parents have already been reaching out to daycare staff to find out what happened.
"It's certainly a concern," said staff member Charlene Gray. "We're not panicking in any way but it is our policy to keep on top of things like this and get as much information as we can first-hand from RCMP, and then be able to convey that to our families."
Comox Valley RCMP are asking anyone with information or who witnessed anything to call them at 250-338-1321.