Shooting at Canadian sawmill leaves two dead

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 9:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 9:32pm


A former employee opened fire at a Canadian lumber mill, killing two people and wounding two others, authorities said.

A man identified by police in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, as Kevin Douglas Addison, 47, was arrested on suspicion of shooting people in a car park area and then in the mill office.

Police superintendent Mark Fisher said a shotgun had been seized at the scene and two victims were pronounced dead at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

The shooting occurred at a Western Forest Products sawmill in Nanaimo, 60 kilometres west of Vancouver city in British Columbia. The island health authority said one victim was airlifted to a hospital in Victoria in critical condition and another was in a hospital in Nanaimo in stable condition.

Western Forest Products president and CEO Don Demens confirmed the suspect is a former employee. "We're a local company and it's very tragic," Demens said.

Police received a call at about 7am, saying shots had been fired and they arrived at the mill within minutes.

"A lone male suspect was arrested a few minutes later by an emergency response team member," Fisher said. "Police officers also quickly worked to search the entire building for additional threats, and injured victims."

Police did not release any information about the victims or a potential motive for the shooting. However, the CBC broadcaster identified those killed as Michael John Lunn, 61, and Fred James McEachern, 53. One of the wounded was a company vice-president who was shot in the face, the CBC said.

At the mill, tearful family members had gathered outside, waiting to find out if their loved ones had been hurt. Employees were sent home for the day.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark expressed shock.

"This kind of tragedy is almost unknown in British Columbia," she said. "Most of us here today cannot imagine what the victims and their families must be going through. The people of British Columbia are standing with them."

Additional reporting by Xinhua