The incident happened shortly before 2 p.m. yesterday. A white van with Washington state licence plates drove up to the kiosk at the Peach Arch border crossing in Surrey, B.C. The driver and lone occupant of the van fired a single shot, striking the female guard manning the booth in the neck. LeAnne Dombrosky, who was waiting in line to cross into Canada told CBC
There was a gunshot and sounds of a woman screaming which drew the attention of all the other guards. Then after about 10 seconds, the guards were yelling to a man in the white van in the far left lane (closest to the building) to put his hands up—another shot or two were fired—in which the driver of the white van took his life with a bullet in his head.
The Vancouver Sun
reports the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) border guard, whose name has not been released, was breathing and conscious after being shot. She was airlifted to the Royal Columbian hospital in New Westminster, B.C. and is in serious condition.
Jason McMichael, national vice-president of the Customs and Immigration Union, told The Province
he believes this is the first time a CBSA officer has been shot on duty. He said, "Our members seize firearms from travellers every single day and everyone of those firearms has the potential to be used in an incident like this. Our members are well-trained, well-equipped and despite that they are in danger."
CBSA guards wear body armour and have been armed since 2006.
Shortly after the shooting, Luc Portelance, president of the CBSA, issued a statement
saying his thoughts are with the officer and her family. He said, "This is a profound reminder of the risks that our border services officers assume every day. I know that the courage and dedication of our officers are second to none."
Although the incident occurred at a point prior to entering Canada, the investigation is being conducted by the RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. Police have traced ownership of the van to a man in Bremerton, Washington but are not releasing his identity or saying whether or not he was the shooter. The Montreal Gazette
reports Washington state Governor Chris Gregoire has spoken with B.C. Premier Christy Clark and has promised the state's help in the investigation.
The Peace Arch border crossing is not expected to be fully operational until later today.