Two men killed in Canada by man police say targeted homeless people

A police officer standing near a windshield and passenger window of an RCMP vehicle with bullet holes at the scene of a shooting in Langley, British Columbia, Monday, July 25, 2022. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
A police officer standing near a police vehicle with bullet holes in the windshield and passenger window at the scene of a shooting in Langley, Canada, on Monday. (Darryl Dyck / Associated Press)

A man who targeted homeless people fatally shot two men in a Vancouver suburb before being shot and killed by police, authorities said Monday.

Police had issued a cellphone alert saying they were at the scene of several shootings “involving transient victims.”

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said an emergency response team found a suspect not far from where a man was found with a gunshot to his leg.

During an interaction with police, the suspect was shot and pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

Two others were wounded — a woman who was in critical condition and the man shot in the leg, police said.

Authorities said most of the shootings were in downtown Langley, a town of 26,000 about 30 miles southeast of Vancouver. One reported shooting was in neighboring Langley Township.

Police offered no immediate word on the suspect's motive or identity.

After the shooting began, ambulances and police vehicles converged at a mall. The area was cordoned off with yellow police tape and a major intersection was closed. A black tent was set up over one of the crime scenes.

An unmarked police SUV at one of the shooting scenes had at least seven bullet holes in the windshield and one through the driver’s window.

Police issued a cellphone alert about 6:30 a.m., telling people to avoid the area and describing the shooting suspect. Another alert later said that the suspect was in custody and was believed to be solely responsible for the attacks.

A homicide team confirmed on social media that its investigators deployed to Langley to help.

Mass shootings are less common in Canada than in the United States. The deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history happened in 2020 when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across the province of Nova Scotia, killing 22 people.

The country overhauled its gun-control laws after an attacker named Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself in 1989 at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college.

It is now illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon in Canada. To purchase a weapon, the country also requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and criminal record checks.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.