Canadian police said Wednesday that Andrew Michael Crews, a 32-year-old Seattle resident and tattoo artist, was the gunman who shot and wounded a Canadian border agent at the Peace Arch U.S.-Canada crossing before turning the gun on himself.
“This investigation remains in the early stages and investigators are attempting to determine a motive. The current evidence clearly indicates that prior to taking his own life, Mr. Crews deliberately fired at the victim,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Supt. Kevin Hackett said in a news release late Wednesday afternoon, according to CTV News.
"There is no evidence, however, to suggest the victim was specifically targeted," Hackett said.
Crews' family has been notified of his death, the RCMP said.
Crews was a tattoo artist who worked at a parlor in Silverdale, Wash., west of Seattle, CTV said. He grew up in Las Vegas and recently moved to the area, his co-workers and friends told CTV. He is believed to have worked more recently at tattoo parlors in Seattle.
And on his Facebook page, Crews posted a picture of a Glock 30 45-caliber semiautomatic handgun with the caption, “I got a little gun, here comes oblivion.”
Crews' stepfather confirmed in a phone call Wednesday night that Crews had texted his mother on Monday and told her he loved her and that he was sorry, but didn't explain why he was sorry. They were unable to reach him after that.
On Tuesday, a man in a van with Washington state license plates pulled up the border crossing near Blaine, Wash., seeking to enter Canada, and shot border agent Lori Bowcock in the neck while she was her booth. He then shot and killed himself, police said.Bowcock, who is in her late 20s, is in Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C., where she is in stable condition.
Canada Border Services Agency spokeswoman Stefanie Wudel told the Vancouver Sun that Bowcock is expected to make a full recovery. Fraser Health has not yet released details of her condition, but a spokesperson said her health was "improving."
The guard's mother and brothers are by her side.
The Customs and Immigration Union that represents Canadian border agents first told CTV News that when the man in the van shot himself in the head, the bullet then accidentally struck Bowcock.
But CTV News said a union official later clarified that two shots were fired. And witnesses in cars at the border crossing at the time of the shooting reported hearing at least two shots.
On Wednesday, Jason McMichael, the Customs and Immigration Union's first national vice president, told CTV News in an email: “I can confirm 2 shots were fired -- she was targeted only in that it was pointed at her, no reason to speculate that there was any prior knowledge of the shooter."
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were not commenting on the specifics of the case, but said they are treating the case as an attempted homicide.
On Tuesday, RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said at a news conference that the shooting occurred at about 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Peace Arch/Douglas border crossing.
According to the Vancouver Sun, the alleged gunman, Crews, was trying to enter Canada in a Ford Econovan with Washington plates registered to an address in Bremerton, Wash.
Detectives checked a home in Bremerton Wednesday, but determined Crews had moved to the Seattle area, Scott Wilson with the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office said.
A source said that Crews' Seattle home was raided Wednesday morning.
Witnesses at the border crossing were interviewed by the RCMP and the Crews' van was taken to a forensic laboratory for testing.
According to the Sun, roughly 40 percent of Canadian officers at the crossing carry firearms. It was unknown if Bowcock was carrying a gun.
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire issued a statement regarding the shooting, saying that the "tragic incident reminds us that public safety officers put their lives on the line every day." She also pledged her support in the investigation.
"This evening, I spoke with British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and have pledged our full cooperation and help as the investigation moves forward," Gregoire said.
The border crossing is the third busiest U.S.-Canada crossing point, with about 4,800 vehicles passing during peak hours each day, CTV News said.
Customs and Immigration union official Dan Sullivan told the Vancouver Sun that the shooting is the first of a border guard in Canadian history.
The Peace Arch border crossing was reopened to southbound traffic Wednesday, and to northbound traffic Thursday morning.