Canada officials report shootings of homeless people in Vancouver

Mass shootings are less common in Canada than in the US

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Canadian police reported multiple shootings of homeless people Monday in a Vancouver suburb and said a suspect was in custody.

Authorities said most of the shootings were in downtown Langley, a town of 26,000 about 30 miles southeast of Vancouver. One reported shooting was in neighboring Langley Township.

Police offered no immediate word on the suspect's motive or identity.

Sgt. Rebecca Parslow of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said she had no details on the conditions of the victims.

After the shooting began, ambulances and police vehicles converged at a mall. The area was cordoned off with yellow police tape and a major intersection was closed. A black tent was set up over one of the crime scenes.

An unmarked police SUV at one of the shooting scenes had at least seven bullet holes in the windshield and one through the driver’s window.

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Police issued a cellphone alert at about 6:30 a.m., telling people to avoid the area and describing the suspected shooter. Another alert later said that the suspect was in custody and was believed to be solely responsible for the attacks.

A shoe with blood on it and other belongings are seen on the road behind police tape at the scene of a shooting in Langley, British Columbia. Canadian police reported multiple shootings of homeless people Monday in a Vancouver suburb.

A shoe with blood on it and other belongings are seen on the road behind police tape at the scene of a shooting in Langley, British Columbia. Canadian police reported multiple shootings of homeless people Monday in a Vancouver suburb. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

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A homicide team confirmed on social media that its investigators deployed to Langley to help.

Mass shootings are less common in Canada than in the United States. The deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history happened in 2020 when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across the province of Nova Scotia, killing 22 people.

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The country overhauled its gun-control laws after an attacker named Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself in 1989 at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college.

It is now illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon in Canada. To purchase a weapon, the country also requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and criminal record checks.