Vancouver Police are investigating a shooting in Oppenheimer Park and are raising concern about the safety risk associated with the park.
“There has been a sharp increase in the level of violence in and around the encampment at Oppenheimer Park in recent months,” says Sergeant Jason Robillard, VPD. “Police are responding to several 911 calls in the park every day and we are very concerned about the safety of the people staying there, our officers, firefighters, and City of Vancouver staff.”
Last night’s shooting happened at around 10:30 p.m. VPD officers, on patrol in the area, heard gunshots in the park and upon investigation, discovered a 31-year-old Vancouver man with a gunshot wound near Powell Street and Jackson Avenue. In the initial steps of the investigation, officers cleared the tents in the park to ensure everyone else was safe.
In June alone, there were 92 emergency calls for police response in the park, and in May, there were 87. This is up significantly from 2018 when there were 56 calls for service in June and 56 calls in May.
“We want people in the park to be safe and currently, the environment there is not safe, even for our officers,” adds Robillard. “On Wednesday, a police officer was assaulted as she tried to assist City crews working to keep the park clean.”
The man injured in the shooting last night is in hospital in stable condition. Police believe the suspect fled on foot through the park. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. No arrests have been made.
Anyone who may have witnessed the shooting on Wednesday night, or who has information that may help police, is asked to call the VPD’s Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.