BLAINE - The British Columbia coroner's office has identified a man who shot a Canadian customs officer in the neck, then killed himself at the Peace Arch border crossing.
Canadian authorities believe Andrew Michael Crews, 32, shot Lori Bowcock while she was in her booth just before 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16.
Bowcock, who used to work as a dispatcher in Ontario, was not armed because she was a recent graduate of the academy for border officers and hadn't completed weapons training.
She remained hospitalized in stable condition Wednesday and was expected to make a full recovery, according to Canada Border Services Agency officials.
Crews was a tattoo artist who lived in Kitsap and King counties. His former employers at two tattoo parlors did not return calls seeking comment. It's not clear what his motive was in the shooting, or why he was headed into Canada.
Traffic northbound into Canada at the Peace Arch crossing was scheduled to resume at 8 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, according to the Canada Border Services Agency. Southbound traffic reopened just after 4 p.m. Wednesday. The crossing had been shut down since the shooting.
A Canadian customs union vice-president backtracked Wednesday afternoon on a report that Bowcock was struck by the same bullet the gunman used to kill himself at the border.
"I can confirm that there were in fact two shots fired. The first directed at our member and the second 10 to 15 seconds later was the self-inflicted gunshot. Previous information was inaccurate," Jason McMichael, the first national vice-president of the Customs and Immigration Union, told The Huffington Post B.C. in an email.
Crews was driving a white Ford Econovan with Washington plates. Kitsap County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Wilson said the registered owner of the van recently moved from Bremerton to the Seattle area.
The Peace Arch crossing in Blaine is the third-busiest port of entry on the northern border. Last month, it averaged 9,000 U.S.-bound cars a day, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
EXCERPT FROM A STATEMENT BY ROSLYN MACVICAR, REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE CBSA
I want to tell you a little about Officer Bowcock. Lori joined the (Canada Border Services Agency) family a few months ago. Once she completed her training at the CBSA College in Rigaud in July, she was deployed to the Pacific Region that same month, becoming a valued member of our CBSA team at the Douglas (Peace Arch) port of entry. As a recent graduate she has not yet completed the Arming Program training.
I know everyone within our organization is thinking about Lori and wishing her well. ...
This incident is a profound reminder of the risks that border services officers assume every day in their role to protect the safety and security of all Canadians. I want to underscore that the safety and security of our border services officers is of utmost importance to the CBSA. I also want to acknowledge the professional and poised manner in which our officers at Douglas, and elsewhere, responded to the terrible shooting of a CBSA officer.
Reach CALEB HUTTON at email@example.com or call 715-2276.