RCMP concerned, not alarmed with recent increase in gun violence

By Jill Sperling
November 7, 2017 - 4:41pm Updated: November 7, 2017 - 5:29pm

KAMLOOPS — A recent spike in gun violence has been consuming the time of Kamloops RCMP officers.

The last two weeks have seen a series of firearms incidents - from standoffs and gun seizures to shootings and threats against police.

Today, RCMP held a news conference to address the recent issues and discuss future operations.

Superintendent Brad Mueller says the recent spate of high profile police incidents in Kamloops has been tremendously taxing on the Kamloops detachment.

"Some (members) have been working for days straight, and I can tell you that they are extremely dedicated and committed," said Mueller.

Multiple officers are still recovering from the October 27 shooting and standoff on the Tk'emlups Indian Reserve that eventually led to the arrest of 35-year-old Shane Caron.

"I'm very thankful that we were able to give them that recovery time because if it would have happened this past weekend, they would have been scheduled to work and would have been faced with a number of high risk incidents again," said Mueller.

He relates some of the crime activity to the instability caused by the murder of Red Scorpions co-founder Konaam Shirzad in late September.

"Unfortunately this has led to an uptick in violence where the notion is that once you have drugs, there is a perception that there is money to be made, that leads to competition, and ultimately has resulted in these conflicts."

The number of shooting incidents in Kamloops has seen a marked increase, with 10 so far this year compared to six last all of last year.

Kamloops RCMP have had a number of recent conversations with Mayor Ken Christian about some of the issues the detachment is facing due to the violent crimes.

"Issues like manpower, and the availability of additional resources from other municipalities, and the use of air support where it's required, those sorts of things the city can and will and does help them," said Christian.

Mueller says, while he's concerned about the uptick in gun violence, he's confident in the detachment's ability to handle these incidents in a prompt and safe manner.

"The public should not panic, I think they certainly need to be aware, I think there needs to be some increased vigilance. And one of the things I would encourage is that any suspicious activity is reported... through police and or Crime Stoppers."

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