Kamloops Mounties searching for two armed men, getaway vehicle after failed attack on alleged gang leader – Kamloops News
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Kamloops Mounties searching for two armed men, getaway vehicle after failed attack on alleged gang leader – Kamloops News

Kamloops Mounties have released photos of a pair of suspects and the car they believed to have escaped in after a failed attack on an alleged gang lord on Wednesday.

At approximately 7:00 p.m. on July 3, police responded en masse to a report of a shooting in the parking lot of the Riverside Plaza in the 100 block of Tranquille Road. Officers arrived to find a vehicle in the Thompson River and a 40-year-old man with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Castanet Kamloops has learned from eyewitnesses at the scene that the man shot was Cameron Cole — one of two men police say are at the center of a drug-related conflict that is increasing the risk to public safety.

Eyewitnesses told Castanet that two men emerged from the trees adjacent to the parking lot and fired at Cole and two others in a dark SUV that drove down an embankment into the river. Patrons of a neighboring restaurant ran inside to avoid the gunfire.

A week after the shooting, police released a low-quality security camera image showing two of the shooting suspects and one of the vehicles they fled in — a gray Audi SQ5.

“We would like to hear from anyone who saw either of the two male suspects described or the grey Audi SQ5 at any time on July 3,” Sergeant Kevin McIntyre of the Kamloops Mounted Police Law Enforcement Unit said in a news release.

“The shooting occurred in a public place at a time of day when many innocent bystanders were present. We are hoping that someone has information that will help further investigate this and other recent investigations believed to be part of an ongoing conflict between local drug dealers.”

One male suspect was described as wearing a black hooded sweater, a gray shirt, black capri shorts, and black shoes. The second suspect was wearing a black hat, a green plaid coat, black pants with white vertical markings, and white shoes.

The grey Audi SQ5 had no front license plate.

Police also said two car fires were connected to the shooting — one that occurred around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday on Westsyde and the other just after 3:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of Parkcrest Avenue.

In May, Kamloops mounted police issued a public warning about an increase in gang violence, which had escalated from a series of arsons in March and April to four shootings in early May.

“As we work to further progress this and other related investigations, we continue to deploy resources and utilize additional provincial support to assist in suppressing violence associated with this ongoing conflict,” Insp. Justin Thiessen said in a news release Wednesday.

In addition to local units, British Columbia’s Joint Task Force has deployed its Unified Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) to Kamloops following last week’s shooting.

During the increased presence, UGET officers confiscated axes, knives, nunchaku, a makeshift spear, large quantities of drugs, including suspected methamphetamine, crack cocaine, ketamine, fentanyl and burglary tools.

“As we continue to disrupt illegal activities by those involved in the drug trade and investigate incidents related to recent acts of violence, we ask the public to contact police with any information that may be related and to be vigilant in reporting criminal and suspicious activity to police,” Thiessen said.

Anyone with information regarding the suspects, vehicle or ongoing investigation is asked to contact Kamloops Police at 250-828-3000.