A motive for the shooting of a border guard at the Peace Arch on Tuesday by a Seattle man who then killed himself has not been found, said a spokeswoman with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Detectives seeking a motive for Tuesday’s shooting of a Canadian border guard by a man who then turned the gun on himself said they have more questions than answers.
“The thing that people want to know is what was the motive, and we don’t have that yet,” said Sgt. Jennifer Pound, a spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Integrated Homicide Investigations Team.
What investigators do know, she said, is that Andrew M. Crews, a 32-year-old tattoo artist from Seattle, was at the Peace Arch border crossing into Canada when he intentionally shot guard Lori Bowcock, before killing himself.
Bowcock is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery, police said.
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Pound said that while there had been initial reports stating that Crews had accidentally wounded Bowcock while shooting himself, investigators have found that is untrue.
“We believe that Mr. Crews deliberately attempted to harm her, but we don’t believe they knew each other,” said Pound.
Pound said investigators also have information about the origin of the handgun and whether it was legally possessed by Crews, but are not disclosing that at this time.
Crews, who lived in Nevada before moving to Washington, had sent his mother a text message on Monday saying he loved her and that he was sorry, his stepfather said.
Crews offered no further explanation and relatives could not reach him after that, Danny Lupinek said on Wednesday.
He said family members and friends have not been able to shed any light on what might have triggered Crews’ actions.
“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Crews’ cousin, Keith Munyon, of Marysville, said to reporters, adding that Crews was “a loving guy” and “mellow-mannered.”
On Thursday afternoon, a relative who asked not to be named said that Crews’ family members have been distressed to see the events at the border being used as fodder for divisive issues, such as gun control. The relative said the family has decided not to speak further about the tragedy.
Nate Woods, the owner of the Lucky Boys tattoo parlor in Silverdale, where Crews worked before moving to Seattle, told the Kitsap Sun that Crews’ friends were shocked.
“We’re blown away right now. It’s a horrible tragedy,” said Woods. “We send our prayers to the family of the officer as well as to the family of our friend.”
Woods said he’d known Crews for about seven years and that Crews had been a guest artist at Lucky Boys before moving to Bremerton last year to work full time. Woods described Crews as a quiet man with many friends and said he was “one of the most amazing artists.”
Pound, the spokeswoman for the RCMP, acknowledged that Crews’ friends and relatives had shed no great light on the case and that further answers may never come.
“Sometimes the paths you take don’t lead you to a solid answer.”
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from The Associated Press.