“What can you tell us is going on right now?”
Leading CHEK NEWS’ coverage of the Stanley Cup riot 1- years ago, Jeff King describes the unfolding situation to anchor Scott Fee.
“The choppers are all over the place right now,” King said, describing the helicopters flying overhead in downtown Vancouver. “There’s been looting. People are picking up whatever they can to get into stores.”
In Vancouver to cover Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, Jeff King and sports reporter Paul Haysom could see trouble brewing right after the game.
“Every step we went toward the downtown core, it just got more bizarre and more dangerous. To the point where we got near the post office, and the car was on fire and turned over,” King recalled.
The live CHEK News broadcast took place downtown, in front of the Hudson’s Bay building, with rioters smashing windows and cars all around them.
For five hours, rioters smashed and burned their way through the downtown core attacking 297 different locations, including Hudson’s Bay.
Employees fled to the top floor as the rioters invaded the building with car fires burning in a nearby parkade.
Crown counsel spokesperson Gordon Comer said there were many rioters that night committing many crimes.
“They thought the building was burning, they thought they might die that night,” Comer said. “They called to their loved ones to say goodbye. It was terribly traumatic for these people who were trapped downtown.”
It led to a mountain of evidence that would eventually lead to the approval of 912 charges against 300 suspects.
“It was so unreal, and unusual, and really kind of terrifying,” said video journalist Kendall Hanson, who filmed for hours and into the live CHEK News broadcast.
“I was so thankful that I was tall that day because I could kind of see over the crowd, and I could see what was happening around me.”
“You look back at your career, and you know, there are certain points you remember, and Kendall Hanson, Paul Haysom and I will never forget that night,” King said.
After four years of investigation, 293 were sentenced for their part in the riot.