Gun violence did not result in any significant injury, but left some Quesnel neighbourhoods shaken and the police busy, during the long weekend. One person was taken into custody, and others are under investigation, all told.
Quesnel RCMP were called into action on four occasions for gunfire reports between Thursday and Sunday. All incidents were unconnected to each other, and in only one incident did a bullet cause any injury, and it was minor.
It was varmints 2, humans no score in the first two gunfire incidents.
On Aug. 31 at about 9:30 p.m. police got the first of these calls. Quesnel RCMP Sgt. Clay Kronebusch said it was a report of “multiple gun shots being fired in the 8000-block of Nazko Road. While responding to the report, police received another call from BC Ambulance Service of a man with a gun shot wound to the head. A 44-year-old man was taken to the hospital with a minor grazing wound to his head. The police investigation determined that the gun shot wound was caused by a stray bullet that struck the man when they were shooting at varmints on his property in the dark. The police investigation is still ongoing regarding the unsafe use of the firearms.”
The next firearms incident also happened on the north side of the city, this time in the afternoon of Sept. 2 at about 1:45 p.m. The call brought police to the 3000-block of Bulova Road, and once again the targets were four-legged, with one substantial difference from the first event.
“Police determined that the shot was in relation to someone shooting varmints on their property. It was determined that the person involved was doing so in a safe manner and there is no ongoing investigation,” said Kronebusch.
It was a much more ominous circumstance, later that same evening. Just before 6:30 p.m., said Kronebusch, Quesnel RCMP responded to a report of a drive-by shooting in the 100-block of Malcolm Drive. Witnesses reported a vehicle drove past the location and fire several shots into the building. Harley Gardiner, a 34-year-old Quesnel man, has been arrested and charged with several firearms related offences. He was remanded in custody pending a further court appearance. Luckily no one was hurt during this incident.”
More than 24 hours later, police were back on the hunt for yet another shooter. On Sept. 3 at about 8:54 p.m., police got word that multiple shots had been fired in the vicinity of Bartels Road and Quesnel Hixon Road.
“Police attended and located a vehicle believed to be associated to the ‘shots fired’ report,” said Kronebusch. “The vehicle fled from police almost striking a police officer in the process. The vehicle was located unoccupied at a residence known to police and two handguns were seized. The investigation into the matter is ongoing.”