Two teenagers remain behind bars facing attempted murder charges after a brazen daylight drive-by shooting in Nanaimo.
Both accused are from the Lower Mainland and Nanaimo’s Mayor says the incident has all the trademarks of a gangland shooting, that he’s worried is part of the drug trade trying to gain ground in the city.
Riding past the scene where bullets had flown and a car was hit repeatedly by gunfire just moments earlier Tuesday, Charlotte Stark didn’t know if she was still in danger.
“There was just the whole area blocked off and policemen everywhere and it was like I was giving grimacing looks at everyone because I didn’t know what was going on,” says the VIU student.
As this quiet University area neighbourhood of Nanaimo was taken by surprise by a brazen daylight drive by shooting.
“It’s a very interesting experience so far,” says neighbouring resident Adam Haycock. “Because you’ve only been here how long? One month. ”
“Yeah it’s scary because it’s right across from a children’s centre and this is just a home area,” says Charlotte Stark. “Like the area it happened in is really surprising.”
But Nanaimo’s Mayor says he’s known for some time that gangs from the Lower Mainland were fighting over turf here to sell drugs. Bill McKay thinks this incident is that fight showing up in daylight.
“That they’re trying to set up in Nanaimo and on the Island, anywhere on the Island,” says McKay.
The target of the shooting escaped uninjured, but pursuing the fleeing suspects to their eventual arrests at a blocked Duncan intersection led to an RCMP car crashing, injuring two officers, before the two suspects 18 year old Armaan Singh Chandi of Surrey and 19 year old Inderpal Singh Aujla of Mission were taken into custody.
“I want to send a message off to the officers that were injured in that chase and wish them well,” says McKay.
As this community comes to terms with a fight that’s been brought to its doorstep that McKay says may just be getting started.
“I understand that we are all concerned about this. but this is a new reality. Criminal element are looking at expanding their scope of business,” says McKay. “They’re looking at expanding their area of operation so we need to ensure that we stop that before it happens.
The two men facing charges for this drive by shooting and police pursuit will appear in Nanaimo court on Friday.