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Mounties reassure Coquitlam neighbours worried gang violence is flaring up

Sgt. Timothy Pierotti with IHIT says he’s aware the latest shooting was just one of three in Coquitlam in the last several days, adding IHIT will work to determine whether there are any links between the incidents. Cecilia Hua reports.

The RCMP says public safety is the top priority in Coquitlam as some neighbours worry that gang violence is flaring up in that city.

There have been three separate, targeted shootings in Coquitlam over three days, the latest coming Saturday afternoon near Westwood Street and Glen Drive, leaving one person in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

That followed two other shootings in the city since Thursday, which did not result in any injuries or deaths.

RCMP officers are now reassuring residents, saying investigators are working hard.

“We understand that these last three days have been incredibly stressful to the community, and we want to assure the public that our officers are working tirelessly to advance all of these investigations,” said Insp. Darren Carr, operations support officer for the Coquitlam RCMP.

“Public safety is our top priority.”

Carr says the three shootings are “isolated, targeted, and [involve] a small group of individuals.”

However, nerves appear raw for some people in online community groups.

Several members in one Coquitlam neighbourhood forum on Facebook feel gang violence is getting worse in the city, calling it unnerving and “out of hand.”

Others point to the heavily armed police responses in their community, with one person saying it’s sad when they don’t feel safe when out for an afternoon walk with their dog.

Another suggests Coquitlam is “the new Surrey.”

Others are clapping back, however, saying that is an overreaction and over-simplification, with Coquitlam being no different than other municipalities in Metro Vancouver.

Meanwhile, in an email to CityNews, the Coquitlam RCMP confirmed Monday that the investigation into Saturday’s shooting has been assumed by the Lower Mainland’s homicide investigation team, IHIT.

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