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RCMP issue public safety warning due to gang conflict in Kamloops

Police after a week of shootings, arson and a misidentified target, police are warning the public of gang-related violence
Police are warning the public in Kamloops about Cameron Ronald Cole, 40 and Justin Christopher Hunt, 25. (RCMP)

Following a series of shootings linked to organized crime conflict, Kamloops RCMP are warning residents about an increased risk to public safety.

The recent uptick in violence involves five shootings over four days, arson, and targeted criminal acts believed to be connected to the conflict, said Supt. Jeff Pelley, Kamloops RCMP Detachment’s officer in charge.

Kamloops RCMP are now issuing the warning as investigators expect the violence to continue.

“Some of these incidents occurred in public venues and have included a misidentified target,” said Supt. Pelley.

He said that due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, he cannot release many details at this time, but said that the two men who are likely connected to the conflict are still in the community.

Cameron Ronald Cole, 40, and Justin Christopher Hunt, 25, are currently still in Kamloops and have not been arrested in regards to the recent gang violence.

“They have been warned about the risk to themselves, but recent events also lead us to be fearful for the safety of the public at large who may live or be near the men or their associates who are being targeted as a result of their criminal activities,” Supt. Pelley added.

In the interest of public safety, police are releasing the names and photos of the men and are asking the public to avoid them and their associates.

“We are issuing this public interest disclosure in an effort to stay ahead of the violence and encourage anyone with information that may be connected to reach out to police as soon as possible,” said TEU Sgt. Kevin McIntyre of the Kamloops RCMP Detachment.

The Targeted Enforcement Unit (TEU), Serious Crime Unit, General Investigations Support Team, Forensic Identification Services, Police Dog Services, and local officers are investigating along with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit-BC Uniform Gang Enforcement Team.

Police are asking the public to report any information about recent incidents of violence or suspicious activity by calling 911.

RCMP will hold a media press conference at 2 p.m., Thursday, in Kamloops to discuss the ongoing violence.

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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduate of BCIT working in the field of journalism for 16 years
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