2 dead, man in custody after shooting in Faro, Yukon: RCMP

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Police tape stretches across a home in Faro, Yukon on Wednesday. One man is in custody as RCMP investigate a shooting that killed two people and injured a third on Tuesday.   (Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Police tape stretches across a home in Faro, Yukon on Wednesday. One man is in custody as RCMP investigate a shooting that killed two people and injured a third on Tuesday. (Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Two people are dead, another person is critically injured, and a man is in custody facing murder, attempted murder and assault charges, after Tuesday's shooting rocked the remote community of Faro, Yukon.

Chief Supt. Scott Sheppard, commanding officer of Yukon RCMP, told a Wednesday afternoon news conference that the shooting happened about 24 hours earlier and that a 42-year-old woman and a 73-year-man were killed. Another man was critically injured, but is in stable condition, he said, declining to name the victims out of respect for their families.

The suspect was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon, Sheppard said, about an hour after the first shots were reported. He said the initial call to police was about a domestic dispute.

Ralph Bernard Shaw of Faro, 61, has been charged with two counts of first degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault. He remains in custody and is due to appear in court on Nov. 3.

Sheppard offered few other details about the accused or what happened on Tuesday and would not say what kind of weapon was used.

WATCH | RCMP provide an update Wednesday on the shooting in Faro:

"This is a tragic situation for the town of Faro and Yukon as a whole, and as the situation develops we are limited in what we say," he said.

"It is our intention to not jeopardize any aspect of this investigation."

'Multiple crime scenes'

According to Sheppard, the investigation involves "multiple crime scenes" in Faro, which is located about 360 kilometres northeast of Whitehorse.

He said police received initial reports of shots fired just after 1 p.m. local time Tuesday and went to a local residence where they found the critically injured man, but the suspect had gone.

Police then went to another residence and found the 42-year-old woman unresponsive. Police and other community members attempted to help the woman, but Sheppard said they soon confirmed she had died.

Police put the local school in lockdown as a precaution, and soon after, there were more reports of shots fired elsewhere in the community. Sheppard said police went to the area, found the suspect and took him into custody at 1:56 p.m. without incident.

Sheppard said officers then went to another local residence where they found the 73-year-old man dead.

"All of our available resources have been brought to bear in this investigation," Sheppard said.

"No community, no matter how large or small, ever wants to endure this type of event."

He said Yukon RCMP are leading the investigation, with assistance from B.C. RCMP.

Danielle D'Entremont/CBC
Danielle D'Entremont/CBC

Crisis support being sent to town

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver, who also spoke at Wednesday's news conference, said crisis support is being sent to Faro, including social workers, counsellors, mental health nurses, psychologists and peer support workers.

"Our hearts are heavy. This is a very sad time for the Yukon, and we stand with the people in Faro," Silver said.

"We know that there's a lot of work ahead to sort out what happened here and why. I want to encourage patience as the RCMP continues to investigate this situation."

Jack Bowers was elected mayor of Faro last week and was originally scheduled to be sworn in Tuesday evening, but the ceremony was postponed due to the shooting.

It's touched the lives of everyone in the community. There's been a lot of tears shed, but it's also really brought us together as well. Sometimes tragedies do that. - Jack Bowers, newly elected mayor of Faro

He said on Wednesday that the community is trying to "move past" the tragedy and focus on healing.

"It's touched the lives of everyone in the community. There's been a lot of tears shed, but it's also really brought us together as well. Sometimes tragedies do that," Bowers said.

"The next few days will be tough days, but days that we'll all get through."

'This hits us all hard'

Other territorial leaders issued statements earlier on Wednesday.

"Our hearts are with the community and the families of the injured victims as we await to hear more about the incidents that have occurred," Yukon's incoming MP Brendan Hanley wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning.

Dawson City Mayor Wayne Potoroka posted that flags at his community's town hall were at half mast "to honour the victims in Faro."

"This hits us all hard. They're not alone with their grief," Potoroka wrote.

The City of Whitehorse also tweeted on Wednesday that flags at city buildings were at half mast "to honour the victims of the tragic event" in Faro.

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