News Local

Barrie police seeking witnesses after man shot downtown Sunday morning

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

Barrie police conduct a grid search on Mulcaster Street Sunday afternoon after a man was shot downtown at approximately 1:30 a.m.

IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA

Barrie police conduct a grid search on Mulcaster Street Sunday afternoon after a man was shot downtown at approximately 1:30 a.m. IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA

A Barrie man is in serious condition after being shot downtown early Sunday morning.

Barrie police believe it was a targeted shooting, the third in the city this year.

Police were called to Mulcaster Street and Lakeshore Drive for a report of shots fired at approximately 1:30 a.m.

When officers arrived they located the 28-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound.

He was transported to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and then later airlifted to a GTA hospital.

No arrests have been made in connection with the incident. It's unclear at this point in the investigation how many shots were fired.

Mulcaster Street south of Dunlop Street West was cordoned off with yellow police tape on Sunday and search team officers were doing a grid search in the early afternoon.

The road re-opened before 4 p.m.

"We're still early in the investigation but we believe the suspect and the victim were known to one another. Investigators believe the suspect shot the victim in the middle of Mulcaster Street and fled in a vehicle," said Const. Sarah Bamford.

"We are asking any witnesses who may have been in the area at the time of the incident that have not spoken to police, or anyone that may have been in the area, to please come forward.

"Officers have spoken to a few witnesses but downtown at that time of the morning is a busy spot," she added. "There is somebody out there who saw something so we are appealing to anyone to come forward with information."

Bamford said police understand some people don't feel comfortable providing information, but there are options for potential witnesses to do just that.

"That comes back to community policing and the community and police working together," she said. "It's fair to say, especially in the summer, you could have a couple hundred people coming out of the bars on to the sidewalks and potentially spilling out onto the streets.

"Whenever anything happens downtown that time of night, we really encourage people to come forward. With this particular incident, somebody would have seen or heard something at that time of the morning."

Community response unit officers responded to the gun call in less than two minutes, Bamford said.

The early Sunday morning incident was the third shooting in Barrie this year.

A shooting on Kozlov Street took place in March and the second was on Gunn Street in April during what police believe was a home invasion.

"In each of these incidents, (we believe) the parties were known to one another," Bamford said. "We believe these shootings haven't been random, that they were targeted.

"We want to assure people, and that the community understands, that safety is our No. 1 priority and that Barrie continues to be a safe place to work, visit and play," she added. "We're here to do our job and we're going to continue to ensure that our downtown, and any part of the city, is a safe place to be."

Police believe the incidents are not connected, Bamford added.

Visitors to the downtown area on Sunday said they were shocked by the incident.

"The world is going to hell in a hand bag because of drugs, alcohol and gun violence," said Port Perry resident Rick Gray.

Toronto resident John Taylor said he was surprised that the shooting would occur in a city like Barrie, adding that he isn't familiar with the early morning crowds that fill the streets downtown after bars close.

"I thought this was a safe city. I didn't expect something like this to happen here. Toronto maybe but not Barrie," he said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Barrie police homicide unit at 705-725-7025 ext 2160 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

They can also leave an anonymous tip online at www.tipsubmit.ca.

imcinroy@postmedia.com



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