Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Victoria’s unhoused community on ‘high alert’ in wake of Langley shootings

Violence brings echoes of unprovoked attacks in Victoria, Nanaimo in recent months

By Martin Bauman
July 26, 2022
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Victoria’s unhoused community on ‘high alert’ in wake of Langley shootings

Violence brings echoes of unprovoked attacks in Victoria, Nanaimo in recent months

By Martin Bauman
Jul 26, 2022
Photo: Our Place Society / Facebook
Photo: Our Place Society / Facebook
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Victoria’s unhoused community on ‘high alert’ in wake of Langley shootings

Violence brings echoes of unprovoked attacks in Victoria, Nanaimo in recent months

By Martin Bauman
July 26, 2022
Get the news and events in Victoria, in your inbox every morning.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Victoria’s unhoused community on ‘high alert’ in wake of Langley shootings
Photo: Our Place Society / Facebook

Some of the region’s top decision-makers on strategies for ending homelessness will meet Wednesday morning to discuss how best to keep unhoused people safe in the wake of Monday’s shootings in Langley. 

Sylvia Ceacero, executive director of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, says she’ll be joined by board co-chairs Lisa Helps and Jeff Bray to try to find ways of heading off any potential violence against unhoused people here, after two people were killed and two more were injured in what appeared to have been a targeted string of shootings in the Fraser Valley.

The four people were shot between midnight and 5:45am on Monday. One was found dead near a supportive housing facility in downtown Langley, and another was found dead at a bus loop near Logan Avenue and Glover Road. BC RCMP sent out an emergency alert at 6:30am, warning of “multiple shooting scenes” involving “transient victims.”

Support Your Community, Support Local Journalism

With paid membership, every penny goes directly to helping our newsroom continue its work and helps our team grow and expand our coverage

Become an Insider

The suspect, Jordan Daniel Goggin, 28, was shot by police at the Langley Bypass on Monday morning, where he died at the scene.

The shootings have left service-providers and Victoria’s unhoused community “on high alert,” Ceacero told Capital Daily.

“It seems that hatred, and… these kinds of vigilante activities are perhaps on the rise.”

Echoes of violence in Victoria, Nanaimo

Monday’s string of shootings in Langley is the latest incident of violence directed at unhoused people on the Island and in the Lower Mainland.

As recently as May, Victoria police reported they’d been responding to calls about “random attacks” on unhoused people. Nanaimo saw at least three separate incidents of violence directed at unhoused people in 2021, including one assault where three men beat a 24-year-old with a metal pipe and another where a man says he was pepper-sprayed. Last August, Vancouver police shared footage of an unprovoked assault against an unhoused man in Yaletown.

Back in 2020, about 50 residents in Nanaimo’s South Wellington neighbourhood surrounded an encampment on Crown land and dismantled its tents. Marchers rooted up trailers and threw out items until the area was empty. Police arrested one person from the camp and then stood watch from the sidelines

In 2018, the far-right group Soldiers of Odin threatened to remove a tent city in Nanaimo by force, and in 2019 a homeless couple was targeted in a baseball bat attack.

Additional security

In the wake of violence, one thought might be to bring on additional security at soup kitchens and homeless shelters to protect service-users against random attacks—but there are drawbacks to that, Our Place Society’s McKenzie says.

“If you have too much security, that can frighten people from accessing the services that they need.”

McKenzie sees the violence in Langley as the end-product of an online ecosystem without nuance or accountability.

The timing of Monday’s shootings in Langley falls days after podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan came under fire for musing to his audience of 11 million that “maybe you should just go shoot the homeless people.”

“People feel that they can just yell and scream and be racist and stuff online… unfortunately, a lot of the times, comments go to the lowest common denominator,” McKenzie told Capital Daily, adding the shootings were “a wake-up call.”

Both McKenzie and Ceacero pointed to the various stigmas Victoria’s unhoused community continues to face—from misconceptions about violence, to drug use, to poverty, to criminality.

“If you actually talked to people on the street, [you] would see that the majority of them are just trying to get by,” McKenzie says.

*With files from Cam Welch

Article Author's Profile Picture
Martin Bauman
Newsletter Editor

Support Your Community, Support Local Journalism

With paid membership, every penny goes directly to helping our newsroom continue its work and helps our team grow and expand our coverage

Become an Insider

Related News

More Victorians are cycling, walking to work: Latest census data
Stay connected to your city with the Capital Daily newsletter.
By filling out the form above, you agree to receive emails from Capital Daily. You can unsubscribe at any time.