The victim of an alleged 2016 drive-by shooting in Nanaimo has testified he initially thought the incident was some sort of prank.
Motaz Al-harbi, the man in a car that was shot at in the incident took the stand Thursday in the B.C. Supreme Court Nanaimo trial of one of the men charged in that shooting.
Armaan Singh Chandi was arrested in Duncan following a car chase that ensued after the March 1, 2016 incident. He faces a number of charges, including use of prohibited firearm with intention to commit murder and is currently on trial.
Prior to Al-harbi’s testimony, Richard Fowler, Chandi’s legal counsel, stated there is no evidence to suggest Al-harbi was the intended target. Nick Barber, Crown counsel, previously said there is nothing to suggest Al-harbi was involved in anything illegal.
Al-harbi lived along the Second Street/Jingle Pot Road area at the time, where the shooting took place. He told Barber he was a student at Vancouver Island University and studying for exams at the university library, when he decided to go home to get something to eat around 3:51 p.m. on the day of the shooting. He drove to his house and parked his Hyundai Sonata in front of his building in his usual parking spot.
About 40 seconds later, Al-harbi testified he heard a very loud sound and saw a car passing him with a man with a gun in his hand in the front passenger side. His face was covered. The person’s arm was outside the vehicle and he continued shooting, said Al-harbi, who also said he couldn’t see if anyone was driving.
Al-harbi said he turned off the car engine and initially thought someone was pranking him. When he got out, he saw holes in his car and shell casings on the street. A lady asked him what happened and told him to call the police. He called about five minutes after the incident occurred.
— Karl Yu (@KarlYuBulletin) January 17, 2019
Al-harbi described the vehicle as a blue Mazda 3 with four doors. A car with that description was involved in a multi-jurisdictional car chase, following the drive-by shooting, that ended in Duncan, the court heard yesterday.
Barber also played video showing Al-harbi’s car doing a U-turn on his building’s street. There was a blue Mazda 3 also in the video and Al-harbi said it looked familiar.
During cross-examination, Fowler questioned Al-harbi about the description he gave police of the shooter. Fowler confirmed that Al-harbi had told police the shooter wore a black hoodie and noted that Al-harbi wears glasses.
Fowler confirmed that Al-harbi had told police that something, possibly “beigey” in colour was covering the shooter’s face, but he wasn’t sure if it was a scarf or mask.
Al-harbi told the court he didn’t suffer any physical injuries.
Chandi, who had been wearing a red jump suit in previous days, came to court Thursday in a black sports coat and dress pants.
Inderpal Singh Aujla, another man arrested in connection with the incident, pleaded guilty in Nanaimo provincial court Monday and will be sentenced later.