Update 2:53PM:

The City of Merritt has confirmed that the 1700 block of Nicola Avenue has been closed by the Merritt RCMP. Residents should anticipate a major police presence in the area, and the public is asked to stay away. Further information will be released as it is made available.

Update 10:16AM:

The Merritt RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the assailants of this morning’s targeted shooting on Priest Avenue. The RCMP confirmed in a press release that officers attended a scene on the morning of November 18, 2022 for a possible shots-fired complaint in the 2100 block of Priest Avenue. 

The shooting is believed to have been targeted. It’s believed that a mid 90’s gray Dodge truck with a maroon box was stolen solely for the purpose of the shooting around 5:30AM, then it was dumped and burned near the Highway 5 and Highway 5A on-ramp at an area known as the Goedy Creek pit. The truck was seen leaving the site of the shooting at a high rate of speed.

“We strongly believe that this incident is associated with the ongoing investigation into the shooting that occurred earlier this week,” said Merritt RCMP Acting Commander, Sgt. Josh Roda. 

“Fortunately there have been no reports of injuries from the shooting, and investigators are continuing their tireless efforts to identify and apprehend the suspects in these brazen events. Investigators continue to canvas the area for witnesses and residential video.”

The shootings on Tuesday, November 15, spanned across multiple locations in the Nicola Valley, and also resulted in no injuries. Investigators are now tasked with solving both cases, which are believed to be linked. 

The Merritt RCMP are urging local businesses and residents to review any surveillance video that may have captured the theft of the truck, the shooting, or the dumping and burning of the truck in relation to Friday morning’s incident. They continue to try and identify suspects in the targeted shooting. 

The vehicle suspected to have been used in Friday’s targeted shooting was found burnt at the Highway 5A offramp. Photo/Merritt RCMP

The RCMP is requesting surveillance footage from the following locations:

  • 1700 block of Granite ave, Merritt (theft of truck scene)
  • 2100 block of Priest ave, Merritt (shots fired scene)
  • Highway 5A on-ramp, just outside Merritt (truck fire scene)

Merritt Mayor Mike Goetz confirmed that the RCMP is calling in task-force target teams in an attempt to curb the recent shooting activity in the Valley, and added that, while unfortunate, incidents like these are becoming more common across the province. He advised residents to follow RCMP directives, ensure their vehicles are locked, and to keep surveillance cameras rolling.

Those who recognize the Dodge Ram pickup,or have any information of any persons or vehicle travelling with it are asked to call the Merritt RCMP at 250-378-4262.

Original: 

Merritt RCMP are on scene this morning (November 18) at the corner of Garcia Street and Priest Avenue, following reports of a targeted shooting incident.

Multiple sources tell the Herald that shots were fired around 6 AM this morning on Priest Avenue, which remains blocked off this morning. 

School District 58 released a statement on the morning of November 18 stating they were advised by the Merritt RCMP of a targeted shooting incident. Schools are not at risk and have been cleared to stay open. 

“SD58 has been in contact with the RCMP this morning and is aware of a targeted incident in which shots were fired in Merritt. We have been advised that schools are not connected and can remain open,” said a statement by the district.

SD58 Superintendent Stephen McNiven said he is grateful that schools are unaffected and students and faculty can resume daily activities. 

It is not clear if anyone was injured in the shooting. This incident closest follows Tuesday morning’s target shooting where over 100 shots were fired across the Nicola Valley, resulting in no injuries or deaths. Police continue to investigate Tuesday’s shooting, and say they have identified suspects, but have not laid any charges. 

More information on this morning’s incident will be released as it becomes available. The Herald has reached out the Merritt RCMP for comment.