Police in Vancouver are investigating a random attack on a homeless man that occurred in the city on Thursday.
According to VPD, a man was allegedly shot and struck by an arrow from a building in the downtown eastside.
“This level of callousness and disregard is shocking,” said Sgt. Steve Addison. “All signs point to this being a random attack, and we’re incredibly concerned because the victim was already one of our community’s most vulnerable.”
The victim was a 22-year-old man who was standing in front of the Eastside Women’s Centre at Columbia Street and East Cordova. He realized he had been shot when he felt a sharp pain and noticed an arrow lodged in his knee cap.
With the arrow still inside him, he hobbled back to a shelter where he was given first-aid. Workers then called 911.
Investigators believe the arrow was shot from the fire escape of a building on East Hastings Street. Officers later recovered a cache of real and imitation weapons from the building.
This included crossbows, replica assault rifles, scopes, lights, and lasers.
“We believe the person who shot the arrow was either a resident or a visitor who fled before police arrived. We’re continuing to collect evidence and are working hard to identify the shooter.”
This is the second time in a four-month span that a homeless man has been attacked downtown. In July, a victim was pushed to the ground and repeatedly kicked by a stranger in Yaletown.
“We know that homeless and unsheltered people are already more likely to be victims of crime than those who are housed. We are doing everything possible to identify the people who did this and hold them accountable.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.