Nine people have been injured during a wave of seemingly random pellet gun attacks across Abbotsford over the last two weeks.
Police say there have been at least 15 attacks at a range of locations since July 18, with people shot while walking down the street, and car and house windows also targeted and shattered.
Although no serious injuries have been reported, police say they are investigating the incidents where pedestrians have been hit as assaults with a weapon.
“It’s fortunate that no one at this point has been struck in the face,” said Const. Ian MacDonald.
A dark-coloured sedan has been described in all those incidents where a suspect vehicle was spotted, either by surveillance cameras or by victims. In those cases where the pellet gun was spotted, it was in the shape of a handgun, which only added to the terror, MacDonald said.
All the incidents have taken place between 3 p.m. and midnight., and are spread across the city, with a cluster of assaults in the Clearbrook area, but other incidents reported as far east as Sumas Mountain and as far west as Mt. Lehman Road.
The targets seem completely random, MacDonald said.
“We’re getting different ages of people, different ethnicities of people,” he said. “It’s a crime of stupidity, but it’s a crime of opportunity too.”
MacDonald said there are also likely many incidents that have not been reported, because the shooters have missed their targets, or because the people hit were struck in the clothing and not aware of the shooting.
“We’re probably looking at double that number,” MacDonald said of the attacks that officially number 15.
MacDonald said that while a similar sedan has been spotted in many incidents, he cannot say for sure whether the same suspect is responsible for every shooting. He said some witnesses have reported a single male driver, while others say they saw two people in the vehicle.
Police rarely see more than a handful of pellet or paintball incidents over an entire summer, he said.