Kamloops RCMP investigate homicide at downtown hotel

·2 min read
Police were called to the Howard Johnson motel on Columbia Street Saturday night after shots were fired.
Police were called to the Howard Johnson motel on Columbia Street Saturday night after shots were fired.

(Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

Kamloops RCMP are investigating the first homicide of the year in the Interior city, after a man was found dead in a hotel room on Saturday night.

At 7:50 p.m. PT, police were called to the Howard Johnson motel on Columbia Street, across the street from the Kamloops courthouse, after shots were fired. When they arrived, a man in his 20s was found dead in one of the units.

The RCMP believe the suspect and the victim were known to each other. They said this was a targeted shooting related to the illegal drug trade and that there is no immediate safety concern for the general public.

The Serious Crime Unit is investigating with the help of officers who attended the scene.

Police say the crime scene as well as two rooms at the Star Lodge on Columbia Street, about two kilometres southwest of the Howard Johnson motel, are being held and searched as part of the investigation.

Police say no arrests have been made in relation to the shooting.

"The investigation is still in its very early stages," Kamloops RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn told CBC.

According to Kamloops RCMP, the detachment has witnessed an increase in violence and disturbances associated with low-end drug dealers.

"Although the circumstances surrounding this murder are still under investigation, it's the same type of violence we have experienced in Kamloops before, involving low-end participants of the illegal drug trade who use violence as a business practice," said Sgt. Nestor Baird of the Serious Crime Unit.

RCMP are asking anyone who may have information in regards to the shooting to call the Kamloops RCMP Detachment at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers.

"Any information at all, you know, maybe they heard a sound in that area, maybe they saw something that was a little unusual even around that time," Evelyn said.