The mayor of Prince Rupert says a shooting at a local mall that left one person dead and another critically injured is “truly tragic” and that supports are available for anyone in the small community who may need them.
Prince Rupert RCMP said they were called to the Ocean Centre Mall Monday morning for a “serious police incident.”
A statement from police said the situation was unfolding and they were asking residents to avoid the mall as their officers worked to gather evidence.
Mayor Herb 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.
Premier David Eby began his news conference on housing Monday by expressing his concern 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.”
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.