‘That’s messed up’: Two more women shot with pellet guns from vehicle, this time on West Shore

The reports follow two similar incidents in Victoria early Sunday, which also involved two women being shot with pellet guns from a vehicle.

West Shore RCMP are investigating a pair of incidents where two women were shot from a vehicle with a pellet gun on Tuesday morning — with one of them having to go to hospital to have a pellet dislodged from her face.

The reports follow two similar incidents in Victoria early Sunday, which also involved two women being shot with pellet guns from a vehicle.

Victoria police and Bowen Osoko said police don’t know for sure if the shootings are linked, “but there are key similarities” between them, including the description of the vehicle involved — a gray sedan — and the fact women were targeted.

VicPD investigators are working closely with the RCMP to determine if the attacks are related, he said.

The first West Shore incident was reported about 10:15 am Tuesday — a woman said she had been shot in the face by a pellet gun while standing at Jacklin Road and Jenkins Avenue, near Westshore Town Center in Langford. She went to hospital for treatment.

Then about 10:25 am Tuesday, a woman reported she had been shot as she walked near the intersection of Veterans Memorial Parkway and Latoria Road in Colwood, near the Latoria Walk shopping centre. She was not physically harmed and described the vehicle used as a gray sedan, which has not been located.

Const. Alex Berube said anyone with video surveillance that may have captured something in those areas or any information that could help investigators to identify any suspects is asked to contact West Shore RCMP.

“It’s hard to determine what the motive is behind this, whether it’s just a bad prank or is somebody who has an ulterior motive to just cause harm,” Berube said.

The Victoria incidents began with a woman reporting she was shot with a pellet by an unknown man in a vehicle just after 1:30 am on Sunday as she sat in the 1700-block of Douglas Street, between Fisgard and Herald streets.

A few moments later, a second woman was shot with a pellet by an unknown man in a vehicle while standing at Douglas and Pandora Avenue.

One of the women was hospitalized.

The vehicle containing the shooter was described as an older-model gray or light-coloured sedan, last seen headed west on Pandora with four white men inside.

Osoko said a pellet gun can cause serious injuries. “The reality is that, depending on the weapon you used, they can cause significant injury,” he said. “There’s great risk of potentially life-altering injuries. It’s not funny and not a joke.”

Berube said getting information from the victims in such situations can be tough, and the vehicle used can be long gone by the time they realize what happened.

“They might not even feel it right away, so to get a license plate or a better description of a vehicle or even suspects can be quite challenging.”

Customers at the Latoria Walk shopping centre, near where one of the incidents took place, expressed shock about the shootings.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” said Patrick Abbott. “I don’t know what to say. That’s messed up.”

“You’re almost lost for words,” said Tom Wilson. “Who would ever do that? Crazy stuff.”

He said he lives close to Latoria Walk and is angered that the incident happened nearby. “We walk around here all the time.”

Deb Norbury was horrified to hear that the woman hit in Langford had to have a pellet taken out of her face. “There’s some sick people around, aren’t there? I hope they catch them.”

Colwood Mayor Rob Martin called the pellet-gun shootings deplorable.

“Clearly I don’t want it in my community and we need to address it,” he said. “I’m very disappointed that — especially during this holiday season and dealing with so much stress around COVID and then the disappointment of things being shut down — somebody’s being so selfish and choosing to be purposely hurtful.”

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps was also upset at the news.

“It’s really horrible to see this happening across our region,” she said. “It’s troubling to see women targeted in this way.”

Susan Howard, development and communications manager at the Victoria Women’s Transition House, said the shootings are “a terrible act of violence toward women.”

“I’m very sorry to hear about this,” she said. “I certainly hope these people will be caught.”

Anyone with any information about the incidents is asked to contact West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Victoria police at 250-995-7654, extension 1, or report anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) .

jbell@timescolonist.com

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