Police are seen at the Douglas Border Crossing in Surrey, British Columbia Tuesday Oct 16, 2012. Officials report that a Canadian Border Services Agency officer has been shot and transported to hospital.
Credits: CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY
VANCOUVER — Police have named the man they believe shot a Canadian border guard in the neck before killing himself on Tuesday.
RCMP said the suspect, who fatally shot himself after allegedly firing at Lori Bowcock, is 32-year-old Andrew Michael Crews, a US resident.
Coroner Barb McLintock said Crews is from the Seattle area, and next of kin have been notified of his death.
“This investigation remains in the early stages and investigators are attempting to determine a motive. The current evidence clearly indicates that prior to taking his own life, Mr. Crews deliberately fired at the victim," said Superintendent Kevin Hackett in a statement. "There is no evidence, however, to suggest the victim was specifically targeted,”
Jason McMichael with the Customs and Immigration Union said two shots were fired around 2 p.m. At the Peace Arch crossing in Surrey, B.C., by a gunman in a van docked at custom officer Bowcock’s booth.
“The first one was aimed at our member and the second one was when the shooter took his own life,” he said. “All of our thoughts are not only with Lori, but with all of the men and women doing this tough job.”
Bowcock, who was shot in the neck, was in stable condition Wednesday, and officials are hoping for her full recovery.
The London, ON, woman is a former communications officer with the Ontario Provincial Police. She was conscious when being airlifted to hospital on Tuesday.
“Her family is now in Vancouver and they’re by her side,” said Jennifer Bourque, spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency.
“We’re still just getting bits of information,” said a London women related to Bowcock who asked not to be named. “We’re both shaky right now.”
She said Bowcock’s brothers and mother already departed earlier in the morning to be by her side.
Bowcock graduated from Fanshawe College's police foundations program in London in 2008 as one of the top students, said program co-ordinator Jon Kunder.
“Having such a large program, of 300 plus students coming in every year, it's hard to get to know them all. So the really strong ones really stand out,” Kunder said.
“She was a great communicator. She got involved in a lot of volunteer activities we have through the program. She was just one of those ones you knew would be successful.”
News of her shooting sent waves of disbelief throughout the school, as well as border posts across Canada, said Kunder, a former intelligence officer with the CBSA.
His friends in the border service described a sombre mood on the job Wednesday, Kunder said.
“It's far-reaching. Even though it could happen any time, now it's in everybody's mind,” he said.
Border guards are protected by bulletproof glass in the booths, but expose themselves to gunfire and assaults when they open their windows and talk to people, Kunder said.
“That is exactly what happened to Lori. She's going to survive it but what will be the most difficult part will be the trauma afterwards.
Homicide investigators continue to seek answers in the case. Authorities have not released a possible motive.
- With files from Scott Taylor, Jim Morris, John Ryan and Jessica Murphy