Witnesses describe hearing gunshots on day of Polson Park shootout - InfoNews

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Witnesses describe hearing gunshots on day of Polson Park shootout

February 16, 2017 - 10:30 AM

VERNON - The manager of the Green Valley Hotel was at home with his wife and daughter when he heard the sound of gun fire.

Jesse Lopienski testified that he was talking to his wife the morning of Aug. 12, 2014 when they heard the bangs.

“My wife says ‘oh, car misfired.’ I said, ‘no, that sounds like gunshot,’” Lopienski said.

The testimony came on the second day of Jacob Daniel Lowes’ Supreme Court trial. He is charged with attempted murder with a firearm along with four other gun-related charges.

The targets of the alleged shooting are Adrian Dziedzic and Robin Rochemont. Both face gun charges in relation to the incident, which played out in Polson Park during morning rush hour downtown Vernon. They are being tried separately from Lowes.

Lopienski said he looked out a window and saw three people, two men and a woman, running across the highway. He recognized the woman, who he was always trying to get rid of.

Another witness, who was visiting the Green Valley Motel to use crack cocaine, said she heard three or four shots in rapid succession. She also testified that she bought drugs from the back window of unit 109 — the apartment Crown counsel identified yesterday as the location of a robbery gone wrong — on at least one occasion, but not from Lowes. 

Jeremy Guild, lawyer for the Crown, said on Tuesday, Feb. 14, Rochemont and Dziedzic attempted to rob unit 109, but wound up chased from the motel by Lowes, who was allegedly defending his drug business.

A shooting match ensued in Polson Park, which left half a dozen or so bullet casings on the ground.

The Green Valley Motel shut down at the end of August 2015. Those living there were evicted. The motel was a known hotspot of illegal activity, with police receiving 200 calls for service related to the property in 2014 alone.

Lowes' trial is set to run until Feb. 27.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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