Nanaimo man charged in shooting at downtown homeless camp
A 37-year-old Nanaimo man has been charged in connection with a shooting earlier this month at a homeless camp in the city's downtown core.
Craig Truckle of no fixed address was arrested without incident around 11 p.m. Wednesday by Nanaimo RCMP patrol officers. He was charged the following morning with one count of pointing a firearm without a lawful excuse.
Clint Smith, the 49-year-old owner of a Nanaimo auto repair shop, was shot in the stomach and seriously injured on March 12.
He and five other people were at a homeless encampment in Barsby Park, trying to retrieve property that was stolen from Smith's business.
Jeff Callaghan was with the group trying to get the stolen items back when he said someone came out of a tent with a rifle.
"We managed to get all the stolen property together and when we got up the hill they were shooting at us," Callaghan said the day after the shooting.
In a statement posted to social media on Thursday, Smith said he has undergone three surgeries since the shooting and had a portion of his colon removed.
"The professionals at NRGH [Nanaimo Regional General Hospital] worked furiously to save my life," Smith said, adding that he was temporarily put in a medically induced coma.
"The staff that have taken on the task of keeping me alive are literally nothing short of miracle workers. I feel that I am alive and can post this is wholly due to their teamwork, understanding, and compassion," he added.
"Please let me be the last person shot in Nanaimo."
The Nanaimo RCMP have warned residents against such acts of vigilantism in the wake of the incident.
"If the police had been contacted, we could have gone in and possibly resolved this situation safely," Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson Const. Gary O'Brien said.
"The one thing we can't accept is people putting themselves in harm's way. This is a situation where somebody could have died as a result of stolen property."
Truckle is scheduled to appear in Nanaimo provincial court on Tuesday.
The Nanaimo RCMP said Monday it would not provide more details on the matter, citing a publication ban in the case.
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