NANAIMO, B.C. -- Nanaimo's mayor is praising the efforts of RCMP as well as sharing his shock over the daytime Thursday shooting that left one person dead.

Mayor Leonard Krog says he was shocked when he heard of the incident, which he says was not far from his own home.

"Clearly, we've always associated gang slayings with Vancouver, with the Lower Mainland," Krog says. "I think we've been a bit smug here, so for the people of Nanaimo, this has not been an easy time."

RCMP were called to the Rock City Centre shopping plaza shortly after 3:30 p.m. Thursday for reports of shots being fired. One man was found dead inside a vehicle when they arrived.

"Particularly when you consider the location, next to a fast food restaurant, lots of young people from the local high school there from time to time, (it's a) very disturbing incident," Krog says.

Police managed to arrest a few individuals in a parking lot at a Best Western hotel a few kilometres away from the shooting scene, efforts the mayor says should provide some peace to Nanaimo residents.

"This is an unprecedented kind of incident where someone is actually slain in a public place in broad daylight," he says. "The RCMP deserve our compliments for working so quickly and effectively. I think citizens should be comfortable that hopefully this is not going to be repeated."

RCMP are not releasing any further details on the victim, arrests or any possible connections to gang activity at this time.