Three people including the suspected gunman have been killed in a series of shootings in Canada on Monday.
Police said shooting in the city of Langley, a suburb of Vancouver, started at around midnight and that four people were shot by what was believed to be a lone male gunman.
Two men were found dead and another man and a woman were injured. The woman is in critical condition in hospital.
Police said the gunman was wounded when they located him and he was shot dead at the scene by officers.
“We’re still investigating to determine if the gunman had acted alone. While the investigation is ongoing, all indications are that there was nobody else involved and there is no further ongoing threat to public safety,” Chief Superintendent Ghalib Bhayani of the regional Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) force said.
The shooting occurred at at least five different locations throughout the City of Langley and the Township of Langley. Police had asked the public to remain out of several areas, including the car park of a casino and a bus stop.
Authorities had issued an emergency alert for multiple shootings involving “transient victims”, which led to
suggestions the victims were homeless.
But Sergeant David Lee from the RCMP’s homicide investigation team said he could not confirm the victims were
homeless and officers were still trying to determine if they had any relationship to the gunman.
The suspect and the victims have been identified but the police have not released that information.
The alert described the suspect as a white man in overalls and a camouflage T-shirt.
A witness told news agency Reuters they saw two black SUVs, similar to those used by police emergency response teams, in a ditch near one of the shooting sites. One vehicle had bullet holes in the windshield.
Multiple shootings are much less common in Canada than in the United States. Canada has stricter gun laws than its southern neighbour, though Canadians are allowed to own firearms as long as they have a licence.
One of Canada’s worst mass shootings took place in 2020, when a gunman driving a fake police car shot 13 people and killed another nine in a fire he set in Portapique, Nova Scotia.
While Canada’s gun murder rate is less than one-fifth of that in the US, it is higher than that of other rich countries and has been rising, according to Statistics Canada.
In May, Ottawa introduced legislation to implement a “national freeze” on the sale and purchase of handguns a week after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in their classroom in Uvalde, Texas.