Police have recovered "a silent killing machine" from the Fraser River, and are hoping a Twitter-literate public can give them some leads.
A man fishing on the Fraser River near No. 3 Road in Richmond two weeks ago, reeled in a big catch for Vancouver police when he hooked a black neoprene computer bag with a Mac-11 machine pistol and silencer inside.
The black gun has a large magazine that juts out below the handle.
Without its 12-inch silencer, the gun is a concealable eight inches long.
The Vancouver Police Department has already used forensic evidence to link the gun to a number of gang-related shootings in the Vancouver area, said Inspector Brad Desmarais.
"Some of these shootings have left victims with significant life-altering injuries," he said.
The police are conducting what Insp. Desmarais called a "promising" investigation that could lead to charges.
Still, police say they need more help from the public.
"This is such an unusual weapon that, in this age of information transfer and Twitter and everything else, we'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has received or heard of any discussion or been privy to a discussion with respect to a Mac-11," Insp. Desmarais said.
Police said they are also looking for people who may have seen the gun being thrown in the river. It was likely in the water for 12 hours.
Insp. Desmarais called the weapon "a silent killing machine," adding that it was capable of shooting 1,200 rounds in one minute. The gun was locked in the fully automatic position when it was found.
"With the briefest touch of the trigger, you can virtually empty the magazine," Insp. Desmarais said. "As you can imagine, that rate of fire makes this weapon very difficult to control, and unless you have an extensive amount of training in dealing with it, it presents an extraordinary hazard to everyone around you because it essentially sprays like a garden hose."
Anyone with information about the weapon is asked to call the Vancouver Police Gang Crime Unit at 604-717-2977 or Crime Stoppers at