West Shore RCMP spokesperson Const. Alex Berube speaks to the media about an ongoing manhunt in the West Shore.

Link between West Shore manhunt and Sooke shootings ‘likely’

West Shore RCMP asking public living near manhunt to stay indoors

Police are in the midst of a manhunt.

West Shore RCMP, assisted by the Victoria Police, Saanich Police, Saanich Canine units, and RCMP helicopter and the RCMP Emergency Response Team are actively hunting two male suspects matching the description of two men allegedly connected to a drive-by shooting in Sooke. West Shore RCMP spokesperson Const. Alex Berube said he would not confirm the identity of the individuals, but considering the circumstances, said police are “acting accordingly.”

“We have two suspects, male suspects, that are possibly armed and dangerous and the fact that there are two outstanding suspects from the Sooke shooting, we don’t take any chances,” Berube said. “There is a likelihood this could be these person(s).”

RCMP have been in contact with three schools, Lakewood and Millstream elementary in Langford, and Eagle View elementary in View Royal. While the search continues the schools are not on lockdown, but as a precautionary measure students and staff are being asked to stay inside but are free to come and go.

Thetis Lake Regional Park however is on lockdown and Capital Regional District staff are turning visitors away and asking those on the beach and in the trails to leave while officers comb the area.

“We have a lot of resources right now at the Thetis Lake area, we have police dogs that are attempting to track in that area and for that we would like to have no traffic, if possible, in that area to allow our officers to work,” Berube said. “But also based on the nature of the incident with the suspect potentially being armed, we don’t want anyone to get hurt. “

RCMP are searching for two male suspects wearing dark clothing. One is wearing white shoes while the other suspect is barefoot after they fled from police early in the day on Lost Lake Road in Highlands.

On June 15, the Sooke RCMP were on the lookout for two suspects, one identified as Joshua Nicholas Lafleur, that allegedly left two men with gunshot wounds in Sooke.

“Police were at a house on Lost Lake Road as part of an ongoing investigation and were looking to speak to the two suspects, the two suspects fled on foot and ran towards the bushes.”

Berube reiterated he did not want the public or the media to post any pictures of their officers on social media or anywhere else for safety reasons until the suspects are caught. Officers are currently traveling in challenging terrain including areas with and without trails, traversing different grades as they search for the two individuals.

“The police will not stop until these guys are being found and arrested and charges if appropriate,” Berube said.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts are asked not to approach them but to call 911.

With files from the Sooke News Mirror

alim@goldstreamgazette.com