Mysterious shooting in south Nanaimo

Police are investigating an incident of shots fired at a home in south Nanaimo.

The shooting happened shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday when police received a 911 call about gunfire heard in the south end of Nicol Street.

Police were unable to determine exactly where the shots originated, but were tipped off to a home in the 600 block of Nicol Street that was hit by gunfire.

Mounties found multiple bullet holes in the home's exterior door and more bullet holes inside the house.

Seven rounds were fired into the door of a basement suite at 621 Nicol Street, near the Needham Street intersection.

The bullet strikes, circled in black grease pen with police forensic scale markers stuck on the door next to each hole, were clearly visible from a service alley that runs between Nicol and Haliburton streets.

A man going in and out of the suite who appeared to be a resident refused comment.

A neighbour, who would identify himself only as Lance and owns a home two doors down from where the shooting took place, said he was not awakened by the commotion.

"In the last 15 years, it's been a nightmare through here," Lance said, referring to drug trafficking and sex trade in the alley.

He said police patrols through the alley curtailed criminal activity, but recently it seems to be on the rise again, which he blames on a relatively transient population living in rental homes in the area.

"It's was actually really good around here for three years, or whatever, but now people just, I don't know," he said. "Well, you have people moving in and out. People don't own the houses."

Several people were inside the house when police arrived, but no one appeared injured, nor had anyone in the home called police.

So far, no one has turned up at Island hospitals to be treated for gunshot wounds.

Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said police have responded to numerous complaints at the house ranging from disturbances to drug trafficking, but it has so far not been declared a nuisance property.

"Based on our intelligence, we know it was a targeted attack," O'Brien said. "As to the motive? We don't know at this point. All our plainclothes members have prioritized this call and we're trying to determine why it happened and prevent something else like this happening again."

The investigation continues.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at

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