By Lawrence Powell
A Nictaux, Annapolis County man is in stable but critical condition after being shot on the sidewalk in front of a Starbucks in Vancouver Tuesday. Paul Dragan, 52, was on Davie Street when he was approached by a man and shot.
Two police officers were nearby and challenged the alleged shooter and exchanged several shots. Two other officers arrived within seconds and the man sled on a bicycle along the seawall pursued by police.
“Dozens of officers flooded the area and found the suspect on the sea wall at Science World,” the Vancouver Police Department said in a media release. “A second exchange of gunfire occurred. The suspect was shot and one police officer received minor injuries from flying glass when the window of her police car was shot out.”
Charges were laid Wednesday against 61-year-old Gerald Mark Battersby. He faces six counts of attempted murder. He is also charged with four firearms offences.
Battersby is a former employee of Dragan, said police, and remains in hospital under guard in serious but stable condition. Police did recover a firearm but would not say what type of gun it was. Dragan owns a bike shop named Reckless in Vancouver.
Police said the attempted murder charges are related to the shooting victim on Davie Street and five police officers.
“Our thoughts are with the victim, his family and his friends,” said VPD Acting Chief Constable Doug LePard. “Our focus will now be on completing a thorough investigation to provide Crown with the best evidence to support the charges.”
A Facebook page has been set up at https://www.facebook.com/getwellpauldragan?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite
“The staff of Reckless want to express our deepest and most sincere thanks to the Vancouver community and the Global cycling community,” the page says. “We are all rooting for Paul and looking forward to his return.”
As of Monday the page said Dragan was sitting up and asking for food and water. And a Ride For Recovery is set for Sunday, June 29 starting at Reckless Bikes on Davie Street at noon.
By last Thursday investigators had spoken to more than 100 witnesses, but were unable to confirm where Battersby was living. Anyone with information about the accused, those with photos or video to provide police, and those who witnessed last week’s incident and have not yet spoken to police are asked to call the VPD Major Crime Section at (604) 717-2541 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.