Police examined the scene following a shooting incident at Willowbrook Shopping Centre in Langley that seriously injured one man. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Police examined the scene following a shooting incident at Willowbrook Shopping Centre in Langley that seriously injured one man. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Shoppers and staff huddled in a store stockroom for safety after shooting at Langley mall

There were fears the shooter might still be at large in the shopping centre

A shopper who was trapped inside Willowbrook Shopping Centre following a shooting incident on Monday, May 3, ended up hiding in a store back room for safety.

On social media, Dawn Muckle described huddling with her daughter Maddie and “about 60 other people in the stockroom of Nordstrom Rack” at the behest of staff following the shooting on Monday, May 3, when one man suffered serious injuries.

At first, she said, there were fears the shooter might still be at large in the shopping centre.

“When we were asked to go to the back of the store, I asked the cashier if there was a shooter outside, and she said yes,” Muckle related.

“That’s all we knew.”

Eventually they were allowed to leave.

“We are OK, just shaken,” Muckle wrote.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Shooting at Langley’s Willowbrook Mall sends one to hospital

Another witness posted a photo of a man being loaded on a stretcher into an ambulance in the shopping centre parking lot in front of the Toy R’ Us store.

He appeared to be in pain and was holding his arms over his face.

It was near a dark SUV that police paid particular attention to following the shooting, placing multiple yellow markers around it.

On the rear hatch of the SUV there was a stick figure graphic showing two parents and three children.

More than a dozen police vehicles could be seen at the scene of the shooting.

What appeared to be forensic investigators could be seen seated on the pavement, taking notes.

This was the second targeted shooting in the community in two weeks, after the murder of Todd Gouwenberg, a 46-year-old Langley resident.

Gouwenberg was gunned down outside the Langley Sportsplex, in the 20100 block of 91A Avenue, just after 9 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, April 21.

Gouwenberg was a former MMA fighter, described as a long-time member of the United Nations (UN) gang by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

READ MORE: Langley man gunned down at Sportsplex was long-time gang member

His murder came just days after 20-year-old Bailey McKinney was shot dead near the skate park at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park and a man was shot dead in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour.

Assistant Comm. Manny Mann, chief officer of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit said gang-related violence in Metro Vancouver is on the rise, with 15 gkillings in 2021 so far this after several years of decline to a low of 23 in 2020.

Mann said tensions have increased between the United Nations gang and rivals including the Red Scorpions, Independent Soldiers and the Wolf Pack, aggravated by the emergence of new players in the drug trade.

Anyone with information regarding the Willowbrook shooting is asked to call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200. Anyone who was in the area at the time is asked to review their dash camera footage to see if they have video of the events around the shooting.

To remain anonymous, contact B.C. CrimeStoppers online or by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

As well the Langley RCMP is offering help to anyone who may have been impacted by the shooting. Client Support and Victim Services is available for those who witnessed the shooting. Support can be reached at 604-532-3214.

Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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