A Victoria man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a targeted shooting of a 34-year-old man in the lobby of the Howard Johnson Motel in Nanaimo early Wednesday morning.
Brandon Tyler Woody, 30, is charged with murdering Andrew Alexander McLean while using a firearm and with possessing a firearm while prohibited to do so.
Woody remains in custody and will appear in Nanaimo provincial court on May 2.
Around 3:20 a.m. Wednesday, a hotel employee called 911 after hearing gunshots. Police arrived at the hotel at 1 Terminal Ave. and began hunting for the shooter. B.C. Ambulance paramedics arrived and the victim was pronounced dead from a pair of gunshot wounds, said Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien.
Around 4:20 a.m., a vehicle was stopped by North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP and a suspect was arrested. The vehicle was seized but O’Brien could not say if a weapon was recovered.
O’Brien released limited details at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, stressing that it’s still early in the investigation.
“This is an extreme case of violence and we want to assure the public we believe it was a targeted hit and the public is not at risk,” O’Brien said. He said it’s too early to say if the shooting was gang or drug-related.
O’Brien would not say if the men knew each other.
“What relationship, if any, exists between them will form part of the investigation, we’re not prepared to comment at this point,” he said.
Victim services is working with the hotel staff member who was on duty during the shooting.
Nanaimo RCMP’s serious crime unit, forensic identification unit and plainclothes officers are investigating.
This is the first homicide in Nanaimo in 2017.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or anonymously via CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
— With files from Katie DeRosa