A 20-year-old Coquitlam man has been identified in a brazen targeted shooting in a Coquitlam park Monday night in what police say may be related to the drug trade or an ongoing gang war in the Lower Mainland.
Police said Bailey McKinney was the man shot at a basketball court in Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park last night at roughly 6:30 p.m. The incident provoked a large police presence and witnesses told the Tri-City News they saw an ambulance crew perform CPR on the man before he was taken away to hospital.
McKinney was pronounced dead at the scene, said Sgt. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team Tuesday.
“To have such a brazen incident in a public park at 6:30 in the evening when there’s so many people around is very concerning,” said Coquitlam RCMP's acting Officer-in-Charge Insp. Andrew Martin.
Sgt. Jang said McKinney has a history of police interactions and had “conflict” with certain individuals who may be responsible for his murder.
"We believe these people had reason to harm Bailey," he said, adding the motive was not yet clear.
"They targeted him for murder and murder is what was carried out."
Police are deploying a team of canvassers looking for people who might have seen the shooting, and are asking for witnesses of the shooting to come forward.
"We believe there were maybe 40 to 50 people in that area. And when the shots rang out, a lot of them scattered," added Sgt. Jang. "We need to know what you saw. There are some that may have known the victim and even some that may have known the shooter."
The Monday evening attack was the latest in a string of shootings that have taken place across Coquitlam in recent weeks.
But gunshots fired in a public, crowded place such as Town Centre Park has police especially concerned, and Coquitlam RCMP said it has stepped up its patrols, deploying uniform crime units, bike units and ATVs.
—With files from Janis Cleugh