An officer with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police was shot on the platform of a SkyTrain station in suburban Surrey during the Wednesday-afternoon rush hour, and has been taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Sergeant Clint Hampton of the transit police said the shooting occurred just after 4 p.m. at Scott Road station, located just south of the Fraser River.
SkyTrain is an automated rapid-transit system comprising three largely elevated lines and 53 stations across the Vancouver region.
At a Wednesday evening news conference, the transit officer was identified as 27-year-old Constable Josh Harms, who has been with the force for three years. He was on a regular patrol shift when injured. He was described as being in good spirits while being treated in hospital. However, RCMP and transit police did not provide further details.
Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, the officer in charge of the Surrey detachment of the RCMP, said the suspect is believed to be an adult male in his twenties wearing a blue hoodie.
Mr. McDonald said transit officers were shot at when they attempted to engage the suspect at the SkyTrain station. In the wake of the shooting, he said about 80 Mounties have been deployed to a pair of areas in Surrey to search for the suspect, who is believed to be armed. He said residents were being asked to stay indoors, turn on their lights and avoid trying to apprehend the suspect.
Dozens of police officers and vehicles responded to the incident.
Surrey resident Gurpreet Bassi said that he was driving to a class at the Justice Institute of B.C. when he ran into road blocks and flashing lights and turned around.
“The traffic was blocked – I couldn’t get to class,” he said.
Surrey RCMP reported a “fluid and ongoing” police incident at Scott Road station. “We are investigating a shooting, the suspect has not been located and may be armed,” RCMP said in a tweet.
Corporal Elenore Sturko of the Surrey RCMP said they received calls from the public of shots fired at the SkyTrain station. She said she had no information on where, at the station, the shooting occurred.
She said police have sealed off the scene, and are now looking for the suspect.
“We are seeking an armed suspect and have lots of resources deployed at this time,” she said.
In the meantime, SkyTrain service is running through the area without stopping at Scott Road.
Sgt. Hampton said it is the first time in the 11-year history of the force that one of its officers has been shot.