Cranbrook RCMP was called out to the Wardner area over the weekend following reports that someone was shooting guns at two women floating near Wardner at the confluence of the Kootenay River and the Bull River.
Approximately 42 kilometres from Cranbrook, RCMP was dispatched to the scene.
“We received a call about 3:11 pm on August 10th with regards to some shots fired in the Wardner area,” Cst. Katie Forgeron told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “Our officer was immediately en route and was in the area within about an hour.”
Getting assistance from the CP Rail Police, Cranbrook RCMP said the officer attempted to locate the source of the shooting in the large rural area while also attempting to locate the two people who reported the shooting.
“She was actually out there for four hours looking for the suspect, knocking on doors, doing house visits, unfortunately, she wasn’t able to locate the shooter,” said Forgeron. “We have since been able to identify the person who was shooting and have chatted with them.”
RCMP said the two women took shelter along the riverbank, believing that the shots were directed at them, eventually reporting that the shots had stopped, making their way down the river to the Wardner bridge where they met up with the police.
“At this point in time, there is nothing to suggest that these people were targeted or that he was intentionally shooting at anybody on the river,” Forgeron told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “All of our investigations into anything of this magnitude do remain open, we welcome anyone with more information to contact the RCMP and provide more information.”
RCMP noted that there was “no apparent risk to the public” as the source of the shots was people on private property “conducting target practice”.
“In high-stress situations, we’re not necessarily given all of the information that we need and if people do have more information, they’re welcome to call us and we would definitely follow up on that,” said Forgeron.
Anyone with additional details is asked to contact the Cranbrook RCMP detachment at 250-489-3471 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
When asked if it is typical for RCMP to only send one officer to a call of this nature, Forgeron told MyEastKootenayNow.com that it depends on the circumstances, but couldn’t speak to their response to the specific call. Forgeron also couldn’t speak to whether there would be any review or investigation into how RCMP responded to the incident.
Staff Sgt. Barry Graham confirmed to MyEastKootenayNow.com that Sgt. Chris Dodds has been in direct contact with the complainant and has spoken to the concerns that were raised about the shooting on Saturday.
MyEastKootenayNow.com has made attempts to reach out to the women that reported the incident to police but has not had any return correspondence.