Squamish bomb blast may be connected to shootout 

RCMP know gang members live in town but haven't connected them to Saturday explosion

Squamish RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dave Ritchie said last month's shoot-out on Tantalus Road might be connected to the Saturday night blast in the Garibaldi Highlands neighborhood of Squamish, but a definite connection has not yet been made.

He said the investigators are still trying to determine the bomb material, adding that the police are aware of some gang members who reside in Squamish, but have no evidence yet to connect them to this incident.

"We are still investigating," he said.

No one was hurt as a bomb exploded in a SUV parked in the driveway of a Skyline Drive home on Saturday night in Garibaldi Highlands.

Police said the target of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was the owner of the vehicle who is known to the police. The vehicle, a 1988 Jeep Cherokee, was completely destroyed in the explosion. In a press release issued on Sunday, Squamish RCMP said no one was hurt and no secondary devices were found on the site.

Squamish RCMP said the blast was first reported to them at 11:39 p.m. The residents of the house where the blast occurred were evacuated during the investigation, while police waited for an explosive disposal unit and a forensic identification team from the Lower Mainland to assist with the investigation.

The blast, which happened at the intersection of Skyline Drive and Skyline Place, was so strong it shook the nearby houses.

A Skyline Drive resident who refused to give her name witnessed the entire incident as she stepped out of her house for a smoke. She said she heard a loud explosion and when she walked out on the street, she saw smoke coming out of a car.

"There was a loud boom and I saw this big puff of smoke come out of the car," she said. "There were people standing on the balcony of the house and they just screamed when they saw their car explode."

She said the police arrived quickly, along with dogs and bomb experts. They cordoned off the house and asked neighbours to clear the street.

"The cops came here really fast, but this is all too close to home," she said.

Another Skyline Drive resident, who lives up the street from where the explosion occurred, said he was shaken by a thudding sound. He said he first thought a tree had fallen on his house, but later discovered that something had happened down the road. He said his son saw bomb disposal experts at the site.

"I thought it was a meth lab or grow up, but a bomb... Jesus Christ, that is wild. We moved from the Lower Mainland to Squamish, but I hope the gang problem is not coming here," he said.

Last month shots were fired around the Spectacle building on Tantalus Road. No one was injured. Saturday's blast on Skyline Drive is the second violent incident in less than two months.

Police are offering a reward of $2,000 to anyone who can provide any information which leads to an arrest and charge. Anyone with information on this incident can contact the Squamish RCMP detachment or call Crime Stoppers.

If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. The service is open 24 hours a day and you do not have to give your name, address, or telephone number.




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