Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating after gunshots rang out in East Courtenay on May 25.
Two witnesses told reporters that shots were fired Friday night following an altercation between residents of Panorama Crescent around 11:30 p.m.
While no one was injured in the incident, a silver car was struck by at least one of the bullets. Police had the 400 block of Panorama Crescent taped off while they investigated the scene on Saturday.
“Police attended the area and were able to determine that shots had been fired and there was a vehicle that was damaged. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the area,” said RCMP media relations officer Monika Terragni on Saturday.
Witnesses who live on Panorama spoke to reporters about the incident, highlighting a house on the street they claimed has been a problem for several years. The shooter reportedly came from that house.
Neighbour Dustin, who did not want to provide his last name, said he was the person who was shot at on Friday night. He said he had gone over to the house to confront the people there and tell them to be quiet.
“Basically they were out there yelling, swearing and fighting like they normally do every couple of days,” he said. “I went out there to calm the situation down. That didn’t go so well – I ended up getting into an altercation with them.
“I get told I’m going to get shot at. Next thing you know, as I’m walking away my car gets hit,” he added.
Terragni confirmed that RCMP has responded to calls at the house before, but could not say whether or not a case was being built against the residents.
“At this time, as the investigation is in the early stages, we do believe this was not a random act and the parties were familiar with each other,” she said.
Dustin claimed the house has been a problem for years, with dozens of people streaming in and out of it daily. He claimed there were about 25 people there on Friday night, but was uncertain how many had been arrested.
(RCMP could not confirm the number of arrests made, as of Saturday afternoon).
“This needs to get dealt with,” said Dustin. “Nothing is being done around here. They’re constantly in and out and the police don’t do anything about it.
“There are cops who have been here for eight to 10 years. They tell me they’ve known about this house for eight or 10 years. How do you not do something about it?”
Another Panorama Crescent resident and witness, Holly Dionne, told reporters that neighbours call the police or the City multiple times a week about the house. She said she’s lived next door for about six years and said illegal activity there has been a problem since she arrived.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” she said. “We call the cops constantly. A lot of neighbours have kind of given up on it because we’re always talking to them about it and they say ‘we’re aware of the situation and we know what’s going on. We’re building our case against them and doing everything we can,’ but it’s been seven years of complaints.”
Terragni said the Comox Valley RCMP’s major crimes unit is still investigating the incident with assistance from the integrated forensic identification section and general duty officers.
“This is a very serious event, especially in the Courtenay area,” she said. “We still consider ourselves still to be a small and safe town. The police take that very seriously and we do put all our resources forward to investigate the matter.”