Vancouver police officers watch over tent city at Oppenheimer park in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, August, 21, 2019. ark board commissioners in Vancouver have voted not to seek an injunction that would clear a tent encampment from a Downtown Eastside park. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Woman accidentally shot by her son in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park, police say

Everyone involved, including the woman, not cooperating with investigators, VPD says

The person who shot the 53-year-old woman at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park last month was the woman’s son, police say, in what was likely an accident.

Charges are not likely, police said in a news release Friday, because the 53-year-old mother and her 30-year-old son are being uncooperative with investigators.

The woman turned up at a local hospital on Oct. 26, claiming she had been shot in the arm while sitting in a vehicle near the Downtown Eastside park, which has been the site of a growing homeless camp.

The woman, who is from Powell River, underwent surgery and is now no longer in the area, police said.

Investigators had identified her son as the suspected shooter and believe he accidentally discharged the gun while speaking to her.

He is known to police and was arrested about a week after the incident for a separate offence. During his arrest, police said they seized a gun likely involved in the shooting.

“Investigators worked diligently for the past month to solve this crime, which caused significant concern in the community and drew more negative attention to the park,” Sgt. Steve Addison said in a statement.

“Although we now know what happened, unfortunately everyone involved, including the victim, has been unwilling to cooperate.”

Police and other first responders have suggested the tent city is the reason violence and crime have been getting worse in the neighbourhood recently, despite a partial clearing in late September.

READ MORE: Officer assault, shooting at Downtown Eastside park spark concerns by police


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