RCMP seek driver after fatal island shooting; 4 dogs also found dead at scene
VICTORIA -- Police continue to investigate a fatal shooting in a rural area of Vancouver Island earlier this month, and are hoping to speak with a driver who may have picked up two people around the time of the incident.
On Nov. 1, three bodies were discovered in the Melrose Forest Service Road area of Qualicum Beach, as well as one person who was suffering from a gunshot wound.
The man was rushed to hospital while the other three victims were determined to have died at the scene.
Multiple burned structures and the remains of four dogs were also discovered, RCMP announced Monday.
The complex nature of the scene has caused the investigation to move forward slowly.
“Fire scenes bring a variety of challenges and are complex scenes to process,” said Cpl. Chris Manseau, media relations officer for the B.C. RCMP. “Investigators must pore over the scene, meticulously search through debris piece by piece and then examine collected items using specialized techniques.”
Mounties and the BC Coroners Service say they are still working to confirm the identifies of the victims.
Shortly after the shooting, sources told CTV News that two of the victims were identified as Shawn McGarth, 52, and his girlfriend Shanda Wilson, 38.
Investigators are hoping to speak with anyone who may have information on the shooting, particularly a driver who is believed to have picked up two hitchhikers on the morning of Nov. 1.
Police say the motorist was driving a light-coloured sedan and has yet to contact police, despite several appeals for information.
“The driver who picked up these individuals is being asked to reach out to police. They unknowingly may have information crucial to this investigation,” said Manseau in a release on Nov. 6.
Now, Mounties say the driver is being considered a witness.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit at 250-380-6211.