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Two people died in a shootout in Whistler Village, Canada

Two people died in a shootout in Whistler Village, Canada
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Two people are dead after a brazen daylight shooting rattled the Canadian mountain town of Whistler, BC, on Sunday

Police responded to shots fired near the Sundial Hotel just after noon. One person died at the scene and a second succumbed to their injuries at Whistler Medical Clinic, the Whistler Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement.

Two people were arrested and Inspector Robert Dykstra, the Sea to Sky RCMP officer in charge, said authorities were confident there was no longer a “risk to the safety of the community”.

Sunday’s shooting – which police said took place outdoors in the central area of ​​Whistler Village – shocked the close-knit resort community. Tourists and local residents took cover as reports of gunfire spread through the village.

The resort’s operator, Whistler Blackcomb, said in a expression on Twitter that it was closed for the day “out of respect for everyone involved.” The elevators remained open while all other guests were brought down the mountain.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and stand behind our community,” the resort operator said.

local media reported that the shootings could be gang-related, citing unnamed sources. Police said they “have not yet determined whether this incident and a recently found burned car are linked, or whether they are related to an ongoing gang conflict.”

Cruel videos circulating on social media showed two men lying face down outside the hotel.

Canada vows to ‘freeze’ handgun sales and buy back assault-style weapons

Fatal shootings are rare in Canada compared to the United States, although they have increased in recent years – from 134 in 2013 to 277 in 2020, according to the data Statistics Canada. The percentage of firearm homicides increased from 26 percent to 37 percent during this period. Most firearm-related homicides by gangs in 2020 (63 percent) were committed with a handgun.

introduced in Canada new gun legislation in May which, if passed, would introduce a “national freeze” on the purchase, import, transfer and sale of handguns, effectively limiting the number of such weapons already in the country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted at the time that gun violence had gotten worse in recent years. The nation “has only to look south of the border to know that unless we act decisively and quickly, it will only get worse and harder to do something about it,” he said after mass shootings in Texas and the US-Canada border in buffalo.

Amanda Coletta in Alberta, Canada contributed to this report.

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