RCMP have closed off the Esso gas station at the corner of Highway 33 and Rutland Road.

Rutland shooting appears to be drug related, say police

Police have closed the Esso gas station at the intersection of Highway 33 and Rutland Road

A Kelowna man sustained non-life threatening injuries to his leg following what police have deemed  a drug related shooting at the Rutland Esso-7/Eleven gas bar.

“The Kelowna RCMP strongly believe that this was not a random attack, and that public safety is not at risk,” said Const.   Jesse O’Donaghey. “We have reason to believe that the incident was related to drugs, and that the suspect and victim were known to each other.”

The 46-year-old  victim  is not co-operating with the on-going police investigation. Police did arrest two men nearby the scene without incident. They were questioned by investigators and later unconditionally released from police custody.

The brazen daylight shooting took place just after 2 p.m. Feb. 15, causing some confusion among the people who work at the other businesses  at the corner of Rutland Road and Highway 33.

“We heard a pop and saw five police cars rip into the parking lot,” said Ian Barett, an employee at the Lordco Autoparts store adjacent to the 7/Eleven.

“I went over there to see what was going on, and  there was a guy lying on the ground and the 7/Eleven employee had out her first aid kit and (had the victim’s) leg was all wrapped up.”

The 7/Eleven employee told Barett that the man had been shot outside the store.

Schools in the immediate area were placed in a temporary hold and secure order while police conducted a search with police dogs.  That hold and secure order was lifted within an hour.

Police are continuing to search for a person of interest in this serious assault with a weapon. Further updates will be provided as they become available.

Although investigators spoke with several witnesses at the scene, police are asking that anyone with any information is asked to contact, Const. Kevin Hamilton, of the Kelowna RCMP General Investigative Section (GIS) at 250-762-3300. Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.