One man was shot and another stabbed following a fight early Tuesday on a busy street in west Maple Ridge.
Ridge Meadows RCMP closed off Laity Street on either sides of Lougheed Highway after receiving a call about shots fired around 8 a.m.
Officers arrived to find two men injured in two different locations along Laity.
“There was an argument and it got extremely heated,” said Insp. Dan Splinter.
Police allege the dispute was over illegal street drugs and witnesses at the scene said the fight started near one of the apartments.
The men knew each other and one was “well-known” to police, said Splinter.
A woman, who lives in an adjacent apartment, heard a man yelling for help in the middle of the street and rushed outside to find out what was wrong.
She said a nurse who also lives in the area went to help the young man, who was in his mid-20s and covered in tattoos.
“She saw blood in his mouth and then he dropped,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. The Westgate Apartment next door and a second building on Laity St. have been a hotbed of drug activity, according to police. Ridge Meadows RCMP executed a search warrant at the Westgate Apartments in Sept. 2013. One man was charged after police found a gun and an assortment of illegal drugs inside a suite.
“This can happen anywhere,” said the woman, who has called the neighbourhood home for 26 years.
“It’s just so disheartening because you live here.”
Police confirmed the man who was shot jumped into a pickup truck and tried to leave the scene. The truck was stopped across the highway.
Splinter said that’s why Laity St. was cordoned in two section, with crime scenes on either side of the highway.
Investigators believe only one shot was fired during the fight. A police dog and a forensics team was brought in to assist Ridge Meadows RCMP.
“There is a great deal we don’t know about this. It is still emerging,” Splinter added.
No one on the street was caught in the crossfire but police are concerned that a gun was used in public during the morning rush hour as children were heading to nearby Laity View Elementary School.
“There are certain people out there who are completely oblivious to everything going on around them and they don’t care,” said Splinter.
Police interviewed several witnesses at the scene and knocked on apartment doors to canvass the street for more information.
• Anyone with any information is asked to call Ridge Meadows RCMP at 604-463-6251. To remain anonymous call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip online at solvecrime.ca.