Police confirmed that a man was shot and killed Sunday afternoon at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C.
The Lower Mainland’s Integrated Homicide Investigation team confirmed the death. RCMP say officers are looking for one or more suspects.
B.C. RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts said Richmond RCMP responded to reports of a shooting at around 3 p.m. PT at the airport.
Traffic cones are blocking off a section of the international and Canada departure areas at the airport, and police have screened off a section. One employee at a nearby car rental centre says he heard multiple gunshots fired in the area.
The Provincial Health Services Authority also said emergency responders received a call at about 3 p.m. PT about a police incident at the airport.
Bike paramedics at the airport responded and two ground units were dispatched, but no one was transported to hospital.
The airport said the situation outside its main terminal has been “contained” and the airport is open and safe. Flights are still operating.
The incident disrupted major traffic routes and police are asking people to stay away from the area.
The Alex Fraser and Queensborough bridges, as well as the Massey Tunnel, were temporarily closed but have since reopened, according to DriveBC.
Please avoid Sea Island and YVR today, if at all possible. Everyone is working hard to resolve the police incident & reopen Canada Line quickly. Media queries can be directed to our partners <a href=”https://twitter.com/RichmondRCMP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@RichmondRCMP</a> <a href=”https://t.co/MUzyt57rrg”>https://t.co/MUzyt57rrg</a>
The Templeton, Sea Island Centre, and YVR-Airport stations on the Canada Line were also temporarily closed, but have reopened.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police are asking people to avoid Sea Island, where YVR airport is located, and the airport itself if possible.
Investigating possible gang links
Roberts said RCMP are also looking into possible links between the shooting and a burned-out vehicle that was found in nearby Surrey, in the 9700 block of Princess Drive at 3:30 p.m. PT Sunday afternoon.
She also said that, given a recent spate of gang shootings in the Lower Mainland over the last few weeks, officers have been approaching all recent shootings as potentially related to recent gang activity.
Many of the shootings have been in busy public areas.
A criminologist at Simon Fraser University suspects the shootings indicate a deterioration of control within gangs in the region.
But Roberts said it’s unclear at this time if the airport shooting was targeted and is related to this latest string of violent crime.
Scene of the shooting at YVR this afternoon. Airport opened but road to departures blocked off <a href=”https://t.co/aTKc1JHof9″>pic.twitter.com/aTKc1JHof9</a>