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Update: Two men charged with attempted murder after shots fired in Nanaimo

Police walk past a car bearing holes from several bullet strikes while investigating the scene of a drive by shooting on Wakesiah Avenue Tuesday. - CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin
Police walk past a car bearing holes from several bullet strikes while investigating the scene of a drive by shooting on Wakesiah Avenue Tuesday.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Two men are in custody and charged with attempted murder and weapons offences as police continue their investigation into a drive-by shooting in Nanaimo Tuesday.

Police responded to calls about shots fired on Wakesiah Avenue near Second Street shortly before 4 p.m.

The incident happened in a residential area near a children's daycare where multiple shots were fired into a vehicle occupied by one man.

"They fired multiple rounds into the vehicle, struck another vehicle and also struck a house," said Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

The man in the car that was targeted was not injured.

O'Brien said because the vehicle targeted in the shooting was occupied, the two male suspects, both in their 20s, were arrested for attempted murder and a variety of weapons charges and appeared in Nanaimo Provincial court Wednesday.

Armaan Singh Chandi, 18, of Surrey and Inderpal Singh Aujla, 19, of Mission, were charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, failing to stop for police, committing an indictable offense with face masked, discharging a firearm while being reckless, using a firearm while committing or attempting to commit attempted murder and attempted murder.

Both men remain in custody until their next appearance in Nanaimo provincial court Friday (March 11).

Police were still at the scene Wednesday morning as forensics investigators continued their work.

Darryl Burma, who lives near the scene of the shooting, said he heard five "really loud bangs" at the time of the shooting.

"I was outside having a smoke at the back of the building, not on the front that's facing the road, and then out of the blue I heard five really loud gunshots, like really loud bangs," Burma said. "It was extremely loud and my neighbours came downstairs and they asked me if me or somebody was knocking on their door. That's how loud it was."

Burma didn't see anything, but other witnesses did who gave a description of the car the shots came from to police.

"That vehicle was seen south of town," O'Brien said. "It failed to stop for police. It carried on into Ladysmith and into Duncan where Duncan [RCMP] picked up the pursuit."

Due to heavy traffic, Duncan RCMP were unable to deploy a spike belt near Drinkwater Road, but car was eventually stopped in Duncan and two men were taken into custody without incident shortly before 5 p.m.

Two Nanaimo RCMP members were injured during the pursuit and four police cars were damaged.

One unmarked police car went out of control at the intersection of the Island Highway and First Avenue in Ladysmith and crashed into a traffic light pole at about 4:30 p.m. as its driver tried to get on the highway to join the pursuit, which had just passed through the intersection.

The occupant of the passenger seat was injured and airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital as a precautionary measure.

A second RCMP member was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, also as precautionary measure.

Both officers have been released from hospital after being treated for undisclosed injuries.

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