RCMP on scene at Rock City Centre in Nanaimo following reports of shots fired. RCMP confirmed one person died in the incident. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

RCMP on scene at Rock City Centre in Nanaimo following reports of shots fired. RCMP confirmed one person died in the incident. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

1 dead, ‘several’ arrested after shooting at Nanaimo strip mall

Heavy RCMP presence gathered at strip mall along old Island Highway

One person is dead after reports of shots fired at Rock City Centre in Nanaimo.

A heavy police presence gathered outside the Wendy’s restaurant at the plaza along the old Island highway at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20. Witnesses reported hearing shots fired.

Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien confirmed one person died in the incident from apparent gunshot wounds and “several” individuals were arrested.

“We’re not sure whether we have everybody involved in custody,” said O’Brien. “It’s a very dynamic situation. We have officers at various scenes throughout the city.”

He said there is no danger to the public at this point.

The Best Western Northgate hotel was secured while officers searched for forensic evidence related to the investigation. A vehicle was seized that was associated with the individuals who were arrested.

Lee Marstein, who lives near Rock City Centre, was using her mobility scooter near the shooting scene when it happened.

“Just as I was coming around the corner I hear pop, pop, pop, pop, pop and then pop and then I see the white vehicle come screaming out of [the parking lot], didn’t even bother stopping to take a look a traffic and took off,” she said.

Marstein said she heard gun shots in the area a few days earlier and found a bullet casing nearby, which she reported to the police.

She said the vehicle that sped out of Rock City Plaza was a white SUV and it was shortly after that she saw glass on the ground from the victim’s vehicle.

“And then the RCMP started showing up,” she said. “They opened the back door of the vehicle … I’m going, oh, maybe they’re looking for gunshots in the back seat, not thinking that there was a person in there.”

Adrienne Perron, manager of the Sherwinn-Williams paint store, was working when she heard three shots.

“Then two black SUVs – full SWAT – just circled in and blocked in that car,” she said.

Perron said it seemed like only seconds after the shots were fired that police showed up.

“It happened fast,” she said. “We saw people scattering. Cars were kind of coming in to see what was going on … and then we could see that they were draping all that yellow tarp around that vehicle.”

Perron said she was shaken by the incident.

“It’s been getting pretty sketchy here. I open by myself sometimes,” she said. “We’ve got three access points to the store and there’s three people with guns running around somewhere. That freaks me out.”


More from the News Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter

RCMP

 

RCMP are on scene near the Wendy's at Rock City Centre in Nanaimo. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Just Posted

A lift on marine border restrictions by next summer would bring an economic gain to Greater Victoria through the cruise industry. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich calls for opening of marine borders by summer 2022

Council to ask feds to end restrictions in time to allow planning for next cruise ship season

Camper the dog was found Wednesday night by someone walking their own dog along Hollywood Crescent. She had gone missing after a violent attack on June 11. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Camper the dog found safe after fleeing violent van attack in Victoria

Camper was found on Hollywood Crescent Wednesday night

In January 2019, Grade 5 students from Glenlyon Norfolk School, accompanied by Grade 11 student Anastasia Castro, gave a presentation to Oak Bay council seeking a ban on plastic bags in the district. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay set to survey businesses on single-use plastic products

Survey gathers information ahead of expected legislation on provincial, federal level

Al Kowalko drives Sooke School District’s first electric bus that began operation in May. The board decided on June 15 that all future buses will be electric, asking the province for more funding to support the program. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Sooke school board agrees to make all future buses electric

Board to ask province to increase funding to cover the extra up front cost

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

Most Read