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2 dead in Nanaimo, B.C., sawmill shooting

Two people were dead, two were injured and a suspect was in custody following a shooting Wednesday morning at a lumber mill on Vancouver Island, though police had released few details about what happened or what may have motivated the attack.

The shooting happened at a Western Forest Products sawmill in Nanaimo, a typically quiet coastal city located more than 100 kilometres north of Victoria, where someone called 911 to report gunshots at around 7 a.m.

The RCMP said officers were on the scene within minutes and took a suspect into custody. Police did not release any information about the suspect.

The two deceased victims were transported to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, where they were pronounced dead, the BC Coroners Service said in a news release.

The Island Health Authority said one victim was airlifted to hospital in Victoria in critical condition and another was in hospital in Nanaimo in stable condition.

None of the victims’ names were released.

The Mounties were expected to hold a news conference in Nanaimo at noon.

Pat Kinney of the United Steelworkers, which represents workers at the mill, said the union was aware of the shooting but knew little else.

At the mill, crying family members had gathered outside the facility, awaiting word about whether their loved ones were involved. One worker said the mill’s employees had been sent home for the day.