WATCH: Questions are swirling around Nanaimo’s Departure Bay neighbourhood about what led up to Tuesday’s fatal shooting. Witnesses say they are still processing what they saw when RCMP attempted to arrest a carjacking suspect but instead fatally shot him as he tried to flee.
Nanaimo cab driver Paul Havas returned to Nanaimo’s Departure Bay Ferry Terminal Wednesday, still processing the deadly shooting he watched unfold there a day earlier.
“Within minutes everything took place,” said Havas, adding that he heard the bang, the gunshots, then saw an ambulance arriving.
Taking a look at the now cleared scene of the shooting, he wondered on Wednesday why the incident went down like it did.
RCMP were waiting for the suspect in a violent carjacking in Penticton to come off a ferry at Departure Bay. Despite initial reports indicating police crashed into the suspect, then trapped him with four police vehicles, the police incident ended with the suspect being shot at six to 8eighttimes inside a car, killing him.
“I don’t like the sense of that kind of thing coming this far,” said Havas.
“Why would they wait until they got to this side before they did anything about it. Why didn’t they take care of it on the Lower Mainland where the original carjacking took place?”
He’s not alone. Neighbours along Nanaimo’s Beach Drive, just above the scene of the shooting and ferry parking lot say questions are swirling for them too.
“And when something like this happens sort of on your own doorstep you think ‘hmm if I’m gonna have this happening maybe I just as well live in Florida where this happens,'” said Nanaimo resident Joyce Scotton.
“I think it is a shock to a lot of people that there can be these incidents happening that close to us.”
“It’s just a shock to have that happen in Nanaimo,” said neighbour Val Benson.
“And I’m just wondering if the police couldn’t have dealt with it a bit differently.”
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the police-involved shooting. Neither their office or the RCMP are taking questions about what happened Tuesday.
However, Havas trusts the decisions that were made in an instant, knowing the busy roads that lay just outside Nanaimo’s ferry terminal.
“I think it could have been a lot worse had they let him leave the ferry terminal,” said Havas. “They would have had to take him through town somewhere and yeah it could have
gone really bad.”