Police are working to piece together what happened that led to 27-year-old transit officer Josh Harms being shot at Scott Road SkyTrain on Wednesday (Jan. 30).
On Thursday, Surrey RCMP told the Now-Leader that Constable Harms didn’t shoot at the suspect.
However on Friday police said the initial question was “misunderstood’ and requested the story be “adjusted.”
Initially, Surrey RCMP Sergeant Chad Greig said “the police officer was shot, but the police officer absolutely didn’t shoot as well. There was no shootings from police, there was a shooting from the suspect.”
When asked if Harms drew his firearm, Greig said he didn’t know and that would be “part of the investigation.”
Harms was released from hospital late Wednesday night, according to Transit Police, who say he will be meeting with specialists soon to determine the extent of his injuries.
Harms is described as a “well respected, exemplary young police officer” who was on duty when he was shot.
On Thursday night, Surrey RCMP identified the suspect in the shooting as 35-year-old Daon Gordon Glasgow.
In 2011, Glasgow was sentenced to 10 years in prison less one year for time already spent in jail after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Terry Blake Scott at McDonald’s near 100th Avenue and Scott Road.
Details about what led to the Jan. 30 shooting are sparse at this point, but locals were certainly impacted by its aftermath as police hunted the suspected gunman, zeroing in on “containment” areas in Bridgeview: from King George Boulevard to 114th Avenue and 125A Street to 124th Street.
A report from one resident says a SWAT team surrounded a house near Scott Road station and a loud explosion was heard.
Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge Dwayne McDonald confirmed that a house was surrounded, and police were “clearing a residence,” but wouldn’t elaborate.
He also said police are talking to a “substantial amount” of witnesses and that about 80 officers are involved in the active investigation.
— Surrey RCMP (@SurreyRCMP) January 31, 2019
“I was denied entry to Bridgeview to get to my house,” wrote Shannon Walker on the Now-Leader’s Facebook page. “I was told no exit or entry for anyone until the shooter is found dead or alive, no matter if it takes two hours or two days.”
Another reader, Kris Miller, said he counted 21 police cars headed to the area, along King George Boulevard.
North Delta resident Erin Schulte said she was “the first car unable to cross the (Pattullo) bridge back into Surrey after work.”
Schulte said an officer came up behind her with lights on and cut her off, stopping all traffic crossing into the City of Surrey.
“At the crest of the bridge looking down there were blue and reds, it looked like on every street corner. Was haunting,” she added.
Wednesday night, McDonald told people to “avoid the area” completely.
“For residents who live within the containment area, we are asking you to stay inside and lock your doors. Please turn on any exterior lights and call 911 if you see anything suspicious and please do not attempt to apprehend the suspect if you see him or encounter him,” McDonald said.
— Surrey Now-Leader (@SurreyNowLeader) January 31, 2019
Bridgeview resident George Reid told the Now-Leader “there were cops everywhere, all over the neighbourhood” Wednesday night.
“They’re still all over the neighbourhood,” he said Thursday morning. “They’ve blocked off a bunch of it.”
In an early morning Jan. 31 release, police said their presence “remains in the area” but that roads have been re-opened to residents, as has SkyTrain service to the station.
“Vehicle traffic entering and leaving the area (King George Blvd to 114th Avenue and 125A Street to 124th Street) will continue to be checked by police. Police are asking non-residents to stay away from the area as the police investigation continues,” the release states.
“Area residents can resume their regular activities, however they should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity by calling 911.”
Update: we continue to search for the suspect in yesterday's shooting of a @TransitPolice officer. Area roads & Scott Rd Skytrain open however there will be increased police presence & vehicle checks. Residents should remain vigilant and call 911 to report suspicious activity. pic.twitter.com/TBqa466ToV
— Surrey RCMP (@SurreyRCMP) January 31, 2019
Meantime, the hunt continues today for the suspected shooter, who is described a man in his 20s with “dark skin, dark stubble, goatee and a mustache,” wearing a blue hoodie and Nike running shoes.
Surrey RCMP have not confirmed any arrests have been made in the case as of 1 p.m. on Thursday.
The suspect is believed to be armed and anyone who sees him should not approach him but should call 911.
A dedicated tip line is open for the public to report any information that can assist this investigation: 604-502-6284. If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca.
An outpouring of support has been expressed for Constable Harms on social media, from the public and from politicians alike.
“Prayers to the Officer and his family,” wrote Judy L. McCallum Wilson on the Now-Leader’s Facebook page. “Also hope they find this shooter soon!”
“I hope the transit officer is OK,” wrote Jennifer Rumley.
Surrey Councillor Brenda Locke thanked the RCMP and Transit Police for “putting their lives on the line to serve and protect our community.”
“Our prayers go out to Cst. Harms for a positive recovery,” she added.
B.C. Premier John Horgan took to Twitter late Wednesday night to say his “thoughts are with” the injured officer and said he’s “relieved to hear he is OK and in good spirits.”
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) January 31, 2019
Thursday, just after noon, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said in an emailed statement he is “glad and heartened” to hear that Harms has been released from hospital.
“I wish him a very speedy and full recovery,” McCallum added.
“It is a testament to the men and women in our police services who put their lives on the line every day, and yesterday is a reminder of the very real risks they take while performing their duties to keep our communities safe. I want to commend the work that is being done by the Surrey RCMP, which have put the full weight of its resources in apprehending the suspect. I have full confidence that it is only a matter of time before the suspect is caught by the officers of Surrey RCMP.”
His comment comes amid the new Surrey council, under McCallum’s leadership, launching a policing transition to pull out of its Surrey RCMP contract to instead establish a municipal force.
Transit Police said Thursday they were “humbled” by the outpouring of support they have received from the public and law enforcement/first responder partners.