Gloria Adams was taking a nap Friday evening when a shooting occurred across the street from her Courtenay home in the 600 block of McPhee Avenue.
She thought the sound was fireworks.
She had guests over that night. They, too, heard the shooting, which occurred around 8:30 p.m.
“They were concerned, so they came and got me because I have the only phone,” Adams said.
Her voice then took a more ominous tone as she spoke in a hushed voice.
“And I looked over there (across the street) and the door was wide open, and that was not normal…And no movement.”
Adams called 911.
When the first of several police cars arrived at the scene, she noticed the door across the street closed, opened slightly and closed again. The next time it opened, she and her guests saw a man stagger out of the house and walk across the street towards the police cruiser.
“I’d say walk while holding his side,” Adams said.
At one point she said the man fell down and was helped to his feet by police, who put him inside the vehicle.
The car eventually sped off to St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox before an ambulance arrived. The victim — an unidentified 20-year-old Courtenay man who had been shot in the abdomen — was then flown by helicopter to a Vancouver-area hospital for surgery. He is in serious but stable condition.
“As a result of the call, members set up a perimeter, which involved our police dog service,” Comox Valley RCMP Const. Dave Smith said Saturday.
“I believe that every cop in this town was here,” said Adams, an elderly woman who moved to the area from the quiet of Seal Bay about two months ago. “Here, there, down there, the alley,” she said, gesturing in various directions.
Police said a male suspect was seen fleeing from the 600 block of McPhee in a southerly direction towards 17th Street from Cumberland Road near the Courtenay Fire Department. It is not known if the suspect was picked up by a vehicle.
The man is described as possibly in his 20s with an average build, wearing a grey hoodie to partially conceal his face, and possibly black pants.
“Our police dog did not locate the male so we are asking anyone with information or anyone who might have seen anything suspicious in that area around that time to call the Comox Valley RCMP,” Smith said.
People on the periphery of the investigation associated to the residence are known to police to an extent, he added.
Members of the Vancouver Major Crime Section are assisting the investigation because the victim was flown to the Vancouver area.
Police believe the shooting was a targeted incident.
“We do want residents to know that at this time, we don’t believe this was a random act, although our investigation is very preliminary right now,” Smith said. “We don’t believe Courtenay residents have anything to fear in terms of this being a random incident.”
Anyone who may have observed suspicious activity in the area from 8:30 to 9 p.m., or who may have observed an individual matching the description, is asked to contact Smith or Const. Dean Biollo of the Comox Valley RCMP General Investigation Section at 250-338-1321.