News

Maple Ridge woman injured in Kelowna shooting

One of two woman who was injured in the shooting is taken to an ambulance by paramedics.  - Don Sipos/Contributed
One of two woman who was injured in the shooting is taken to an ambulance by paramedics.
— image credit: Don Sipos/Contributed

A Maple Ridge woman wounded in a brazen weekend shooting in Kelowna has been left a quadriplegic.

Friends of Leah Hadden-Watt confirmed the 21-year-old was injured by a bullet  when a masked gunman fired at five people in a Porsche SUV in the parking lot of the Delta Grand Hotel on Sunday. The bullet shattered a vertebra and has left her paralysed.

Red Scorpion kingpin Jonathan Bacon was killed in the shooting while Hells Angel Larry Amero, Independent Soldier James Riach and another woman in the SUV were injured.

Riach fled the scene while the others remain in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

No arrests have been made but police are asking the public for information about a newer silver-green Ford Explorer that matches the description of the getaway vehicle.

On Twitter, a day after the shooting Kelsey Olson wrote: “leah’s a quadriplegic … I am so heartbroken. I don’t know what to do with myself.”

On Tuesday, she tweeted “Stay strong, you’ll get through this.”

Hadden-Watt is the niece of Mike “Spike” Hadden, who runs Haney Hawgs, a motorcycle shop in Hammond.

Hadden is believed to be a full-patch member of the Hells Angels Haney chapter. Hadden could not be reached for comment as he is out of town on vacation.

Meanwhile, Ridge Meadows Mounties and police departments across the province have been asked to be “on alert”.

“There is a heightened awareness of gangsters and the danger associated with them,” said Ridge Meadows Insp. Dave Fleugel.

“We work in concert with the Provincial Intelligence Centre and the gang task force, who share information on gangsters that may travel into our area. Our officers have been made aware that the potential for retaliation is high.”

For close to a year, the Lower Mainland gang task force keeping tabs on tension and “volatility” within criminal organizations that fuel the drug trade in B.C.

“That heightened alert has just been brought to the forefront because of what happened in Kelowna,” said Sgt. Shinder Kirk, whose team is providing resources to investigators in Kelowna but not directly involved in investigating.

In 2008, the gang task force publicly warned acquaintances or associates of gang members that they could be targets.

“The broader tragedy is individuals, male or female, that are associates have been caught up in the violence,” said Kirk.

“If you look back there was an unwritten rule that girlfriends and wives were off-limits. Now there’s been a shift in the paradigm and they are just as much targets as men are.”

- With file from Black Press

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