RICHMOND, British Columbia (AP) — A 28-year-old man was fatally shot Sunday at the Vancouver International Airport in what Canadian authorities said was a gang-related slaying. Police were later fired on while pursuing the suspects.
The man was shot near the departure terminal at the airport, which is in neighboring Richmond, British Columbia. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Frank Jang said the victim was known to police and the incident was related to a gang conflict the region has seen lately.
“This generation of gangsters is taking things to a new level with no regard to community safety,” Richmond Chief Supt. Will Ng said. “They will stop at nothing to target rivals even if it’s at an international airport in broad daylight on Mother’s Day. And they shot at a police officer.”
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said officers intercepted the suspected getaway car shortly after the 3 p.m. shooting and were shot at from the car. At least two suspects escaped in the SUV, and no officers were injured.
Police said the officer did not return fire as there were bystanders. Police later found a burning car about 28 kilometers (17 miles) away.
At the airport, traffic cones blocked off a section of the international and domestic departure areas and police erected tall, white screens in front of an entrance, blocking views of the shooting scene. Most of the shops in the area were shut down.
Police asked for witnesses and those with video to come forward.
The Vancouver Airport Authority referred questions about the shooting to police. It said the airport remained open.
Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a statement on Twitter that the shooting was disturbing.
“My thoughts are with the communities in the Lower Mainland who have been impacted by gun and gang violence far too often, particularly over the last week,” Blair said.
There has been a string of shootings in the Vancouver area over the last several days, including two separate daytime shooting deaths in busy shopping malls. Police said both were targeted killings. One of the victims was a prison corrections officer.
“We’re tired of seeing the violence that has been taking place on our streets,” Jang said. “There comes a time where there are no further words. … It’s falling on deaf ears.”
AP writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.