Vancouver police have arrested a man following an investigation in to an incident where a loaded gun was pointed at a homeless man in Vancouver Downtown East Side on Saturday morning.
The Vancouver Police said in a statement officers responded immediately after a bystander called in and reported the altercation between two men in the lane behind the Carnegie Centre, at Main and Hastings.
According to police the suspect fled, but was later arrested by VPD officers near Main and Keefer streets. The victim was not harmed.
Police have identified the suspect as Luis Alfredo Gaitan-Tijerino, 33.
Gaitan-Tijerino is being chareged with multiples offenses, Assault, Possession of a Weapon, Uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, Using a firearm during the commission of an indictable offence, Unauthorized possession of a loaded firearm.
“People without homes are already far more likely to become victims of violent crime than those who have stable housing, and those risks increase for people living in and around encampments,” says Sergeant Steve Addison. “This incident underscores the dangers facing vulnerable people – especially those living on the streets in the Downtown Eastside.”
This incident with the loaded gun is one of several violent criminal offenses that have recently took place in the Downtown East Side.
According to police between July 1 and August 31, there was a 45 per cent increase in serious assaults and assaults with weapons in the Downtown Eastside encampment zone
When comparing statistics to the same time period last year. there was a 61% increase in weapons offences, compared to two months prior to the encampment.