A kidnapping in broad-daylight, multiple homicides, bomb threats and police standoffs, the City of Kamloops continues to battle a series of violent incidents.
RCMP are now speaking out on the recent increase in crime and why it’s happening, in order to reassure the public that there is no immediate threat to them.
The recent spike in violent crime — including three shooting deaths in four weeks — is part of a power struggle among gangsters for control of the Kamloops drug trade.
Back on Oct.3 a high risk missing person turned up dead in the Lac du Bois area north of Kamloops. Troy Gold was involved in the local drug trade, according to police, but he also was a convicted killer who had also served a prison sentence for robbery.
Cpl. Jodi Shelki says the investigation is on going and suspects have been identified.
While RCMP continue to investigate the death of Gold, they also continually being deployed to situations involving possible bombs – at least six in the last two years.
An explosive device found in the Dallas Road area, last year, led to search warrant of both a local business and home that had connections to the local drug trade.
Cameron Cole and Charles Gerald Patrick were both charged following the police search with weapons charges.
Then on Jan. 23, two men were found with gun shot wounds outside two separate hotels. Shelkie says one of the victims, Cody Mathieu, is believe to be part of the drug trade, as are the suspects.
However, the other victim Rex Gill of Penticton, may have been shot in a case of mistaken identity. Police are continuing to treat this case as a priority and have identified suspects, but no arrests have been made.
Then on Feb. 14, a kidnapping case that took place downtown Kamloops in broad-daylight led to a regional wide police chase that ended in Falkland after a section of Kelowna was shut down as officers searched for suspects.
Justin Daniels was arrested in Kelowna and charged with armed robbery and forcible confinement. The victim of the kidnapping, a Kamloops woman was discovered in a vehicle in Falkland alongside several firearms. Shelkie explains that police anticipate to arrest more suspects in this case.
A day after the kidnapping, police responded to a shooting at a north shore residence. Jason Glover died from his injuries, while a second victim was taken to hospital with undetermined injuries. Both victims are known to be apart of the local drug trade.
The recent violent incidents in Kamloops come largely as a result of the opioid crisis which is largely caused and fuelled by organized crime, says Shelkie.
“We have seen a trend in Kamloops of high levels of violence occurring with the local participants of our drug community,” she stated. “Many of these crimes are being committed by people against their own local allegiances. Not all violence is one group against another.”
She assures the public that the police are working to target those who pose the greatest risk and commit acts of violence in the community.
“Our officers are working hard to identify and strategically target and investigate individuals with ties to the ongoing gang conflict. We are relying on our partners to support the sudden demand on our resources.”
With files from Kamloops the Week