A massive police manhunt for two suspects in connection to a drive-by shooting in Sooke ended Sunday night following a standoff with police at a home on Kirby Road.
Joshua Nicholas Lafleur, 25, one of the leading suspects, along with 21-year-old Damien Medwedrich from Sooke, were captured hiding in a crawl space inside a home on Kirby Road.
Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur said the two were caught around 10:30 p.m. with the assistance of a police dog, and the area was locked down until the arrival of the Vancouver Island Emergency Response Team.
Two loaded handguns were recovered from the scene.
Police came close to locating Lafleur and the other suspect during a large scale search at Thetis Lake Park in the Highlands on Friday but managed to evade them.
Last Wednesday, one of the suspects, Dustin David Brown, was arrested at a home in Langford, which also led police to the location of the vehicle used in the drive-by shooting, a stolen grey 2003 Kia Magentis sedan.
All three men face two attempted murder using a firearm charges in connection to the case.
Law enforcement agencies across the Island had been on the lookout for the trio following the drive-by shooting on Ella Road on June 14, which sent two men to the hospital.
The incident, no doubt left Sooke and West Shore residents perplexed, even though police said the shooting in the quiet Sooke neighbourhood was a “targeted attack.”
Both victims, who are in their twenties and from Sooke, were taken to hospital, one of whom has since been released with a gunshot wound to his bicep. The other remains in stable condition with gunshot wounds to his torso, police say.
The incident occurred near a cul-de-sac at the bottom of Ella Road, a residential neighbourhood on the west-end of Sooke around 9:17 p.m. as a “continuation of an earlier dispute between two rival parties,” said McArthur.
“The information we have is that there was a history between these two groups, there was some kind of interaction … the suspects shot from the vehicle and then left,” McArthur said.
Lafleur was also wanted on several outstanding warrants unrelated to this incident.
All the individuals involved are well known to police.
McArthur said Ella Road is not a problem neighbourhood, and is considered a “beautiful residential area” in Sooke.
“It’s very shocking for us. More so for the community, especially that it happened in a residential area in Sooke, not somewhere out of the way,” he said.
People involved in this incident are known to be the drug trade business, McArthur added.
“We do have drug trafficking happening here, but we’re not dealing with an increase in drug activity,” he said.