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Burnaby cyclist appeals for information to find who shot him
A Burnaby cyclist who was shot in the arm as he pedalled along Highway 1 early June 1 is appealing for information that would help find the gunman.
Craig Premack, 54, was on the return leg of the Cache Creek 600, a long-distance cycling event put on by the BC Randonneurs, when he was shot. He'd just returned to the road at about 1 a.m. after a meal break and three-hour nap in Spence's Bridge.
Premack was riding alone at the time, his Willier road bike festooned with lights to guide his way and alert passing motorists of his presence on the road.
He said his ride was going well until he was surprised by the sound of explosions next to him.
"I thought they were firecrackers," he said.
But then his right forearm "blew up" and he felt blood trickling down to his leg.
Realizing he'd been shot, Premack pedalled faster to get away from whoever was attacking him in the darkness. He said he saw a dark-coloured vehicle leave a highway pull-out near where he'd been shot.
Premack pulled off the road to survey his injuries. He said he couldn't believe what had happened.
"It was almost like a bad dream," he said. "My goodness, I've been shot. I was worried. I was wondering if this was the end."
Premack said he shook off his initial shock and fashioned a tourniquet from a pair of pants to slow the bleeding from his arm. A short while later another group of cyclists participating in the event found him. One of them rode back to Spence's Bridge to get help.
Insp. Ed Boettcher of the RCMP's "E" Division said the attack was "brazen" and "unprovoked.
"We're fortunate to be talking about a shooting and not a homicide," he told a news conference on Tuesday.
Boettcher said the shooting appeared to be a random event but investigators are eager to talk to two men in a dark-coloured pick-up truck who reportedly threw objects at cyclists as they drove past them earlier in the day.
He wouldn't say what kind of weapon may have been used in the attack.
Premack said his ride had been uneventful until he was shot. He didn't even know about the harassment incident until Tuesday's press conference.
A veteran of many long distance cycling events, Premack said such an unprovoked attack is rare.
"Things will happen, but generally people are good," he said.
The bullet shattered bones in his right forearm just below the elbow. He spent the night in hospital in Ashcroft before being sent to Vancouver for surgery. A series of plates holds the arm together until the bones can heal.
Premack said he's still weeks from getting back on the road and he's unable to work. In the meantime, he stays in shape pedalling a stationary bike set up in front of his television.
"I will ride again, there's no doubt," he said. "I don't think this is going to happen to me twice."
RCMP are asking anyone with more information about the shooting or the harassment incidents earlier that day to contact the Lytton detachment at 1-250-455-2255 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.