The RCMP is saying that a shooting in Nanaimo on Thursday afternoon is connected to gang violence in a number of communities on the Lower Mainland.

RCMP Acting Inspector Donovan Tait says in a written statement that three suspects with ties to the Lower Mainland were taken into custody and released, following the shooting.

The RCMP is clear that they believe there is no risk to the public at this time.

The shooting left one dead in a parked car on Thursday afternoon at around 3:30pm, in the Rock City Plaza, near the Wendy’s on Highway 19A at Rock City Road.

“We have received great cooperation from many in the public contacting us with additional information helping us fill in some gaps, but we do need more,” said Tait.

Tait is also hoping that anyone near the area who may have any information to reach out as investigators still have some gaps to fill.

Specifically, they’re looking for information on the occupants of a Pearl-White Cadillac Escalade SUV, which has been seized by police. Reports have the occupants in Nanaimo in the days leading up to the shooting.

They’re also hoping to speak to a caucasian woman who was seen walking towards the Jumping Jiminy’s Playground & Cafe during that time.

While the police will be conducting a massive video-surveillance canvass from the neighbouring commercial properties and residential areas near the location, Tait emphasizes the importance of witness reports in the process.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to those alert citizens who contacted the Police in a timely fashion providing valuable information to our investigators as this event unfolded, resulting in the arrests that were made,” Tait said. ”These witness reports had a direct impact on our ability to take these individuals into custody quickly and safely.“

If you have any information, you can reach out to the Nanaimo RCMP Serious Crime Unit, at (250) 754-2345.