Coquitlam mayor echoes community concerns after 4th shooting of 2024
Posted February 12, 2024 1:48 pm.
Last Updated February 12, 2024 2:59 pm.
It’s been just over a month since we rang in the new year, and there have already been four shootings in Coquitlam.
The city’s mayor is voicing concerns about safety in his community, after two people were found shot in a car late Sunday.
Mayor Richard Stewart says he doesn’t blame residents for also expressing worry.
“Coquitlam doesn’t get shootings, Coquitlam has a really low crime rate, so these are unusual circumstances, no question, and they do cause angst for residents,” he told CityNews Monday morning.
In January, there were three shootings in as many days, one of them fatal.
At the time, the Coquitlam RCMP tried to reassure residents that public safety was top of mind, though some locals told CityNews they were still on edge due to the violence.
Stewart says the city is doing whatever it can to ease concerns, though he understands how people may be feeling and notes Coquitlam isn’t the only jurisdiction dealing with these issues “in an era of organized crime.”
“We put a lot of effort when SkyTrain was coming to Coquitlam to make certain that our SkyTrain stations and the area around the SkyTrain line would have a feeling of safety, would keep people safe by virtue of lighting and various other measures, as well as uniformed police officers. And that has proven successful. This reality that we currently face, which is several incidents of violence in the same corridor over the course of two months, is certainly cause for concern,” the mayor said.
“This is a minor blip, but it certainly is a cause for concern for us and we are resourcing the police department with, certainly, enough resources to make certain that they are able to do the investigations that need to be done, and to cooperate with regional policing bodies … that also get involved in these sorts of things.”
Mounties say officers were called to a parking lot in the area of Barnet Highway and Pinetree Way just before midnight Monday for reports of a shooting. Police tape remained up around the area, which includes a Cactus Club Café, into Monday.
No arrests or motive have been announced. The three shootings prior were believed to be targeted, police said previously.
Stewart says “there’s no question” Coquitlam is safe, however, he stresses the importance of open dialogue with locals to keep the informed.
“To make sure that they understand what’s happening and don’t feel anxiety from a lack of information, that we are able to give them the information they have that allows them to understand that these kind of risks do take place in urban areas across the world and this is an extremely unusual spate for Coquitlam,” he said.
“Our police forces are investigating and trying to put an end to this kind of violence. Because it doesn’t belong in our community, it doesn’t belong in Coquitlam.”
In a statement to CityNews, the Coquitlam RCMP once again assured its priority around public safety.
“We understand and share in the concerns with the public after a shooting incident occurs. Our officers are working diligently to not only investigate the latest shooting but to proactively deter other incidents,” said Insp. Darren Carr, acting officer in charge.
Police are asking any witnesses or anyone who may have video from the area around the time of the shooting to contact the Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550 and quote file number 2024-3605.