Investigators look for motive in shooting of border officer



BLAINE, Wash. - Investigators are trying to determine why a Canadian border guard was shot by a man who then turned the gun on himself.


The Canada Border Services Agency officer was shot around 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Peace Arch border crossing in Blaine.


The officer, identified by Huffington Post Canada as Lori Bowcock, was shot in the neck by a man who approached her checkpoint in a white van with Washington plates.  The van was entering Canada from the U.S. side of the border, but the shooting occurred on the Canadian side.


The man, who was alone in the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson said.


Witnesses said the man killed himself as other motorists who were in line watched.


"There were all the border guards surrounding that white van, and absolute chaos, cop cars coming, you can see  them all down there," said witness David Noble.


The officer, an Ontario woman in her 20s, was airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster where she's in stable condition.  The officer had only been working at the crossing for a few months.


The body of the gunman remained behind the wheel of the van while investigators combed the vehicle for clues. 


After the shooting, the crossing was immediately closed, and traffic on the U.S. side from Interstate 5 is being re-routed at exit 275. Canadian drivers were told to use the Pacific Highway or Aldergrove points of entry.   


The crossing is the third-busiest port of entry on the northern border. Last month, it averaged 9,000 U.S.-bound cars a day.  View border wait times


 It was initially reported that the crossing would remain closed until 4 p.m. Wednesday, but Marsha Johnston of the Canada Border Services Agency later said there was no scheduled time when the border would reopen.


Meanwhile, the gunman's van was traced to a home in Bremerton where the driver may have recently lived.


When a KIRO 7 Eyewitness News crew arrived at the home next to the Forest Lawn Cemetery, they found detectives talking with a man who lives there now.


It appeared that detectives were interested in the previous tenant.


Neighbors told KIRO 7 that the previous tenant, who lived there about six months, owned a white van and moved out about a month ago.