The Canadian border guard shot in her booth at the Douglas Border
Crossing in Surrey, B.C. was struck by the same bullet the shooter used
to kill himself.
A source at the Customs and Immigration Union that represents Canadian
border guards told CTV News that a male suspect shot himself in the head
and the bullet hit the guard accidentally.
RCMP -- who are not commenting on the specifics of the case -- say they are treating the shooting as a homicide investigation.
The female guard, identified as Lori Bowcock, was airlifted to hospital
Tuesday after being shot by the lone gunman entering Canada from the
United States.It appears the bullet struck her in the neck, RCMP said.
She remains in "stable" condition, said Sgt. Jennifer Pound of the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
Peter Leon, of the Ontario Provincial Police, told CTV News that
Bowcock had previously worked as a dispatcher at the OPP's
communications centre in London, Ont.
“As an organization she was part of before, we are concerned with her
well-being and her recovery,” Leon said. “Our thoughts go out to her
family at this time.”
RCMP say the male suspect was driving a white van with Washington state
license plates, but it’s unclear whether he actually owned the vehicle.
Politicians in British Columbia and Washington have said that both
jurisdictions will work together on the shooting investigation, which
includes surveillance tape and witness testimony.
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire said Tuesday that she considers the
Canadian guards at Douglas Border Crossing an “extension of the
Luc Portelance, President of the Canada Border Services Agency, has
called the incident a “profound reminder of the risks that border
services officers assume every day.”
Portelance travelled to Vancouver Wednesday morning to meet with Bowcock, her family and local CBSA staff.
Despite the shooting, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Wednesday
he does not want to speed up training related to CBSA plans to arm 4,800
of its guards. CBSA had announced the move in 2006, but, to date, under
half have completed the training.
Toews told the Canadian Press that efforts to quicken the training could compromise safety.
The Douglas Border Crossing, which links Surrey and Blaine, Washington,
is also known as the Peace Arch border. About 4,800 vehicles pass
through the crossing during peak periods.
The crossing remained closed to traffic Wednesday morning. DriveBC, a
travel information agency, estimates the crossing will re-open at 4 p.m.
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