SURREY, B.C. – The RCMP asked residents of a neighbourhood in Surrey, B.C., to lock their doors and turn on their outdoor lights Wednesday night as they searched for a suspect in the shooting of a transit officer.
Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald said the RCMP set up containment zones in an area around the Scott Road SkyTrain station and also around a home in the area.
A transit police spokesman said Const. Josh Harms was recovering in hospital. Sgt. Clint Hampton said the 27-year-old has been with the transit police for three years.
“Our chief recently checked in with Constable Harms at the hospital. He was in good spirits and where he needs to be,” Hampton said.
Premier John Horgan tweeted his support for Harms.
“My thoughts are with injured #Surrey Const. Joshua Harms, who was shot this evening in the line of duty. I’m relieved to hear he is OK and in good spirits,” he tweeted.
A number of other police departments also sent their best wishes to the injured officer on Twitter.
McDonald said the RCMP had “flooded” the area in its search for the suspect with at least 80 officers involved in the operation.
The suspect was described as a man in 20s with dark skin, a dark stubble goatee and a moustache, who was last seen wearing a blue hoodie and white Nike brand running shoes. RCMP say they received 911 calls and an alert from Metro Vancouver Transit Police that one of their officers had been shot at the Scott Road Skytrain station at about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday.
They say the officer was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The individual had come “to the immediate attention” of transit officers at the train station, McDonald said. “They attempted to engage him and were immediately met with gunfire,” he said.
TransLink said in a tweet the train station was closed due to the police incident and bus service was being offered as a replacement.
Commuters who needed access to the parking lot at the SkyTrain were being escorted by police, but McDonald said anyone else was advised to stay out of the area and members of the public should not approach the suspect.
McDonald said officers had locked down several residences and investigators were reviewing video evidence and interviewing a “substantial” number of witnesses.
“We have flooded the area with officers, this is an evolving situation,” McDonald said. “Public in the area could be at risk which is why we’re trying to apprehend the suspect as soon as possible.”