Police have warned that a residential car chase and shooting in Williams Lake put the entire community at risk and Mayor Walt Cobb would be the first to agree with that.
Cobb’s 18-year-old grandson was out delivering pizzas when the two vehicles involved in Saturday’s car chase and shooting passed him on Midnight Drive.
“One of the vehicles came up behind him,” Cobb told council members at Tuesday’s regular meeting. “He wasn’t sure what to do, so instead of just pulling over and getting out of the road, he sped up.”
When both cars passed his grandson, and turned on to Western Avenue, he was going 70 miles an hour to get out of the way, Cobb said.
“Thank God they weren’t shooting at that time because he could have been one of the victims.”
Cobb, who was away during the weekend in Edmonton attending the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference, said he has received lots of calls about the incident since his return and urged anyone who witnessed the event to please contact the RCMP.
While he knows people don’t want to get involved, he insisted it’s important for citizens to assist the police.
“We have to be prepared to come forward as witnesses if we want to make sure our community is safe,” he said. “If the RCMP don’t have some backup and the public’s support these people are going to get away with it.”
Cobb said he talked with the RCMP on Tuesday and was told they have been making some progress in the case.
“They have some names, but it requires further investigation,” Cobb said. “Again the RCMP cannot go out and do anything without getting the proper information.”
Coun. Scott Nelson told council he has received a number of phone calls about the “heightened awareness” of “bizarre and isolated incidences” that have occurred in the community during the last month.
“People are wondering is it gang related?” Nelson said. “Obviously when you are getting shootings on a major street in our community … and somebody’s laying on a hospital bed, just about dead, people are concerned.”
Council needs to ensure the community the incidents are isolated, but at the same time ask the RCMP to give regular updates so the community is informed, Nelson insisted.
Coun. Sue Zacharias reminded the public there is the opportunity to take the anonymous route by using Crimestoppers.
However, Cobb said if it ends up in court, then witnesses may have to testify, which is the reason people hesitate to come forward.