Violence near two B.C. schools gang-related: police
Published Tuesday, September 11, 2007 9:13PM EDT
Assailants chased the truck of a father and son into a ditch in Langley, B.C. on Tuesday, before opening fire on the vehicle. And the gang-related violence happened just a few blocks away from two schools.
The father had been driving his 14-year-old son to school in a black Hummer, when he noticed up to three suspects in a Honda Civic following him.
Police said both father and son are known to police.
"They're victims of crime, however I use that term loosely based on what we know of them and their activities in the community," Cpl. Peter Thiessen told reporters.
The father suffered non-serious injuries in the shooting, while the son escaped harm.
Thiessen said when police told another of the father's sons what happened, a confrontation began and police used a Taser on the 16-year-old boy before arresting him.
"I think this puts into perspective what exactly we're dealing with here," he said.
"We were concerned about an escalation initially, that's why we locked down the elementary and high schools."
Both D.W. Poppy High School and Peterson Road Elementary went into lockdown.
Craig Spence, a spokesman with the Langley School District, confirmed the shooting happened just as D.W. Poppy High School was set to start at 8:15 a.m.
Peterson Road Elementary, reportedly just one block from the site of the shooting, was set to start at 9 a.m.
Police said the shooting may be connected to a gang called 856, which refers to a local area code.
Heather Lehmann, who lives near to the shooting, told The Canadian Press she heard gun shots but couldn't immediately identify the sounds.
"I just heard pop, pop, pop. I thought it was paint ball guns," she said. "Then I heard a lot of screaming and profanity."
News of the shooting quickly spread amongst classmates at D.W. Poppy.
"I talked with the kid who saw it. He said a Hummer was being chased by a little car and then they crashed," said student Ty Theodore.
He was with his father Troy Theodore in the counsellor's office at the time, and heard the lockdown announced over the public address system.
"I left the counsellor's office and went into the main foyer in the front and there was a girl there that I knew from school, I graduated with her. She was sitting there and she just looked like death warmed over," said the father.
"I said 'How are you doing?' and she said 'Not good. We just witnessed a shooting right around the corner, my husband and my daughter and I."
By Tuesday afternoon, officials had towed the Hummer from the ditch. The windshield was cracked from a bullet hole and a side tire was missing.
With files from The Canadian Press