A shocking amount of random gun violence has taken place in Peach City recently and with no arrests or suspects, there is a feeling of unease at the peak of our busy tourist season.
What is frightening about the recent gun violence is its randomness. These aren’t targeted shootings as we’ve seen in our recent past where it involves gangs and the drug trade and drug debts.
By sheer luck, the last two shootings did not hurt or kill anyone. The first incident saw at least seven shots fired in the direction of the young men walking through a neighbourhood in downtown Penticton. These men were visitors to our town who were returning from an event. They didn’t know their attackers, and didn’t have any prior confrontation that we know of before one of them was assaulted by one man and then the group was shot at by another assailant.
One of the bullets landed in a resident’s barbecue. Imagine if that stray bullet penetrated someone’s bedroom while they slept? There are so many different, deadly ways this terrifying incident could have played out.
What is also bothersome is these suspects are still out there.
A few days later, Penticton RCMP was shot at while doing a traffic stop. A red vehicle drove past and shots were fired at the officers.
Like the Wild West, the officers had to take cover behind their cruisers. Again, by sheer luck, the officers weren’t hit by the bullets nor were the person pulled over. But the aftermath was telling. The police cruiser was riddled with bullets, police said.
The mayor of Penticton was correct in calling these two acts of violence ‘deeply disturbing.’
RCMP, who are short-staffed as it is, is now tasked with the extra job of looking out for gun violence both against them and innocent citizens. There isn’t much the law-abiding public can do.
The City of Penticton has just re-launched their See Something, Say Something campaign for summer. If you know something that can help track down these criminals, say something to the police.
– Black Press