One day after police investigated a shooting near two Cumberland Road businesses, there is continued gunplay in Courtenay.
Comox Valley RCMP responded to a second incident of gunfire in an alleyway near 10th Street and Piercy Avenue around 7:48 a.m. Monday morning.
“I was laying in bed and it was time to get up and I heard a series of gunshots. And then my son came in and said ‘is that a gun?’,” said Diane Brussell who lives nearby the incident. “It doesn’t feel good – especially to our kids.”
Another neighbour who asked not to be identified said the two nearby incidents seem “unbelievable to Courtenay.”
“This is so new and so scary. We’ve had the odd gunshot here and there. However, this is ongoing – almost daily. As far as the activity, now I would say two days in a row, bullets are flying in our tiny little neighbourhood,” she noted.
“I’m feeling very scared. Who wouldn’t be scared of a gun?”
Police are currently on scene and are collecting evidence. One day earlier, multiple shots were fired early at a popular coffee shop and an adjacent building at 950 Cumberland Road.
Const. Monika Terragni, media spokeswoman for the Comox Valley RCMP confirmed shots were fired Monday and that police have previously attended the property in which RCMP members are currently collecting evidence.
“At this point, it wouldn’t be appropriate of me to definitely say that (the two incidents are) linked. Investigators will certainly investigate that as they look at yesterday’s incident and this morning’s (one) as well.”
Terragni added she understands concerns from the neighbourhood regarding safety.
“We all live in the Comox Valley … and we want this to be a safe community and it’s very concerning that there were shots fired at that time in the morning when they were. What I would like to focus on is the co-operation from the neighbourhood and the neighbours,” she noted.
“We all need to come together and get that information to the police. It’s especially important that we get every little bit of information that’s out there. So if anybody saw anything suspicious, heard anything suspicious, call us right away.”
Mary Lee, communications and community engagement manager for the Comox Valley School District confirmed five schools within the district were instructed to implement a Hold and Secure Monday morning – Nala’atsi, Courtenay Elementary, Lake Trail Middle, Ecole Puntledge Park, and Arden Elementary as well as the board office – due to an armed event underway in west Courtenay.
“At approximately 9 a.m. the RCMP advised Comox Valley Schools that the emergency measure could be lifted. All schools are operating normally and we will continue to monitor the situation and stay in communication with RCMP,” she noted in a release.
During a Hold and Secure, staff and students are safe within the facility and classroom instruction continues as normal, she added. Exterior doors are locked restricting access to the building.