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Good morning. It’s James Keller.

Residents across B.C.’s Lower Mainland were woken up Monday morning by the sound of an emergency alert warning of an active shooter in Langley.

The message said there were “multiple shooting scenes” in downtown Langley, a suburban community of about 29,000 people southeast of Vancouver. The shootings, the alert said, involved “transient” victims.

By the time the alert went out, the suspected shooter – later identified as a 28-year-old man from nearby Surrey – had been fatally shot by police. Two victims were dead and two others were injured as the city grappled with a rare mass shooting whose victims appeared to be among society’s most vulnerable.

Police initially said at least two of the victims were homeless, but homicide investigators later appeared to walk that back, saying they were still trying to figure out those details.

However, people who knew some of the victims and service providers in Langley say at least some of the victims were experiencing homelessness and were among the community’s most vulnerable. The shootings have underscored the dangers faced by people living on the street with no place to go, and raised the troubling prospect that the gunman may have been explicitly targeting that population, though police have not speculated about motive.

Leith White, a pastor at Friends Langley Vineyard church, which is steps away from the Langley Bypass where one victim was found dead, said he was well acquainted with the shooting victims.

He told The Globe that he has known some of them for as long as 12 years while others were newer within the community. They had attended meal services and utilized other services at the church. He said they were just “doing their best” to survive while living on the streets.

Tim Richter, CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, pointed to Canadian studies that show homeless men are nine times more likely to be murdered than non-homeless men and large proportions of homeless youth and women have reported being victims of violence.

Very little is known about the suspect, whom police have identified as Jordan Daniel Goggin of Surrey. He has no online presence and several of his and his parents’ neighbours have said they didn’t have much interaction with him.

One neighbour, Charity Cizek, told The Globe’s Andrea Woo that Mr. Goggin had been acting erratically in recent days.

This is the weekly Western Canada newsletter written by B.C. Editor Wendy Cox and Alberta Bureau Chief James Keller. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for it and all Globe newsletters here.