Police ID man who shot Canadian border officer
Published Wednesday, October 17, 2012 9:10AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:10PM EDT
The RCMP has identified the U.S. man who shot a Canadian border officer at a B.C. crossing point before taking his own life.
Police say Andrew Michael Crews, 32, fired at the female guard at the Douglas Border Crossing in Surrey on Tuesday.
“This investigation remains in the early stages and investigators are attempting to determine a motive. The current evidence clearly indicates that prior to taking his own life, Mr. Crews deliberately fired at the victim,” Supt. Kevin Hackett said in a news release Wednesday. “There is no evidence, however, to suggest the victim was specifically targeted.”
The border officer, Lori Bowcock, was struck in the neck and airlifted to hospital, where she remains in stable condition.
Crews was a tattoo artist who worked at a parlour in Silverdale, Wash., west of Seattle. He grew up in Las Vegas and recently moved to the area, his co-workers and friends told CTV British Columbia.
Local police said they would search Crews’ residence for any clues about what may have led to the border shooting.
Crews’ family has been notified of his death, police said.
Meanwhile, a union official clarified Wednesday that two shots were fired when Bowcock was injured.
A source at the Customs and Immigration Union had earlier said one shot was fired and it likely had hit the officer accidentally.
On Wednesday, Jason McMichael, the union’s first national vice-president, said that was not the case.
“I can confirm 2 shots were fired -- she was targeted only in that it was pointed at her, no reason to speculate that there was any prior knowledge of the shooter,” he wrote in an email.
RCMP -- who are not commenting on the specifics of the case -- say they are treating the shooting as an attempted homicide investigation.
Peter Leon, of the Ontario Provincial Police, told CTV News that Bowcock had previously worked as a dispatcher at the OPP's communications centre in London, Ont.
“As an organization she was part of before, we are concerned with her well-being and her recovery,” Leon said. “Our thoughts go out to her family at this time.”
RCMP say the male suspect was driving a white van with Washington state licence plates, but it’s unclear whether he actually owned the vehicle.
Politicians in British Columbia and Washington have said that both jurisdictions will work together on the shooting investigation, which includes surveillance tape and witness testimony.
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire said Tuesday that she considers the Canadian guards at Douglas Border Crossing an “extension of the Washington family.”
Luc Portelance, President of the Canada Border Services Agency, has called the incident a “profound reminder of the risks that border services officers assume every day.”
Portelance travelled to Vancouver Wednesday morning to meet with Bowcock, her family and local CBSA staff.
Despite the shooting, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Wednesday he does not want to speed up training related to CBSA plans to arm 4,800 of its guards. CBSA had announced the move in 2006, but, to date, under half have completed the training.
Toews told the Canadian Press that efforts to quicken the training could compromise safety.
The Douglas Border Crossing, which links Surrey and Blaine, Washington, is also known as the Peace Arch border. About 4,800 vehicles pass through the crossing during peak periods.
The crossing remained closed to traffic Wednesday morning. DriveBC, a travel information agency, estimates the crossing will re-open at 4 p.m.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Lisa Rossington