A male suspect has died in hospital from self-inflicted gunshot wounds after allegedly shooting a woman in the Ocean Centre Mall in Prince Rupert on Nov. 21.
Shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Monday, police were called to the business centre mall which houses a daycare, high school, health clinic facilities, and government and business offices, to respond to reports of gunshots.
A 52-year-old woman died at the scene.
“As stated earlier the 44-year-old man was taken to hospital after a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was considered to be in critical condition. He has now succumbed to his injuries,” said Const. Brody Hemrich, RCMP media relations officer for the Prince Rupert detachment.
“As the investigation is ongoing and out of respect for the family, his name will not be released at this time,” the officer said.
“The Prince Rupert RCMP is here to stand by and serve the community during this tough time. As the investigation is still ongoing and we are still asking those who may have seen anything, have dash camera footage or security footage to come forward.”
The business centre mall was closed for the day with police still present after dark.
Officers say it was an “isolated incident” between two people who knew each other.
The shooting had prompted concern from officials including Premier David Eby, who began his news conference on housing Monday with remarks about the incident.
“I understand there is a very serious police-involved incident in Prince Rupert this morning that sounds incredibly troubling and that our thoughts and certainly our hearts go out to everybody affected by that incident this morning,” he said.
“We have limited details right now but certainly all British Columbians are thinking of the people of Prince Rupert right now.”
Prince Rupert Mayor Herb Pond said the shooting was “truly tragic” and that supports are available for anyone in the small community who may need them.
Pond said his office, located near the scene, was locked down for about 90 minutes with people being told not to leave.
“When you get the word that this is a truly tragic incident it’s overwhelming. A lot of our staff know at least some of the individuals involved. There’s some overlap. So we’re offering counselling to our people,” he said.
Pond encouraged residents who felt affected by the incident to seek out resources.
“So make sure you reach out and get the help you need. (There’s) nothing wrong with getting help,” he said.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Dave Uppal said police knew of the trauma the shooting would have on many people and supports were in place for those who may need help.
Eryn Collins, a spokeswoman with the Northern Health authority, said their Prince Rupert health unit is in the mall, but the incident did not take place in the facility.
She said the offices have been closed until further notice and clients who have appointments have been informed.
The MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, Taylor Bachrach, said he was “shocked and saddened” by the news.
“My thoughts are with the loved ones of those harmed, local first responders and all those affected,” he said on Twitter.
—with files from Canadian Press