VERNON - Police believe four violent incidents in the past month, three of which involved guns going off, are linked to the drug trade.
The incidents include bullets hitting a home on Pottery Road, shots being fired in the downtown area of Okanagan Avenue, and the most recent resulting in a boy being sent to hospital with a gunshot wound.
RCMP Cpl. Dave Tyreman says police are currently investigating all four incidents and welcoming any tips from the public.
“At this point the police believe the events are targeted and are linked to the drug trade,” Tyreman said in a written response to a request for a interview. “Currently the shootings are being investigated as separate events and are not being linked together, but investigators will follow all leads as information becomes available.”
The first incident occurred on Pottery Road, just across from Hillview Elementary School. A home with three children and two adults inside was struck by bullets.
A week later, on April 21, police responded to a reported shooting in the 3400-block of Okanagan Avenue. Mounties confirmed shots were fired but said no one was hurt.
Then, on May 8, police attended the 1500-block of 33 Street for a third reported shooting in which a boy suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
The fourth violent incident under investigation is a break enter and aggravated assault that ocurred April 6 in the Coldstream area, Tyreman said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vernon RCMP at 250-545-7171 or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
"The Vernon RCMP is committed to finding who was... responsible for the shootings and to hold them accountable," Tyreman said in the statement.
Below, you will find a map showing the locations of the three shooting incidents.
— This story was updated at 1:43 p.m. May 13, 2016 to correct the name of the school to Hillview Elementary, not Hillcrest. The story was updated again at 2:20 p.m. to include more information about the fourth incident under investigation, a break and enter on April 6, 2016.
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