Lori Bowcock, a CBSA border guard, was shot in the neck on October 16 while on duty at the Douglas Border Crossing. She is expected to make a full recovery. (Photo courtesy of Canada Border Services Agency)
On Tuesday, October 16, just before 2 p.m. Canada Border Services agent Lori Bowcock was shot in the neck at close range at the Douglas, B.C. border crossing by 32-year-old Seattle-area tattoo artist Andrew Crews. Crews approached the booth in his white Ford Econovan, shot Bowcock and then turned the gun on himself. Crews was declared dead at the scene.
“We honestly didn’t know how serious it was going to be,” CBSA executive director Kim Scoville said of the scene. “Our officers responded with their weapons drawn, but there was no need for us to use them.” A recent graduate of the CBSA College in Rigaud, Quebec, Bowcock had not yet completed the newly implemented firearms training, but Scoville said he believed it would have made little difference if she had. “It all transpired so quickly,” he said.
Despite being seriously wounded, and barely able to speak, it was reported that Bowcock’s only concern after the incident was the welfare of others in the area. “She kept asking if anyone else was injured,” Scoville said. “Her strength and determination has been an inspiration to us.”
After being airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital and undergoing surgery, Bowcock was doing well and was up and walking last Thursday evening, Scoville said. Her surgeon at the trauma center said she was the “luckiest unluckiest person he had ever seen,” according to Scoville. “It truly was a miracle,” Scoville said. “She was shot at close range and the bullet managed to miss every major artery and key track it should have hit.”
The Bowcock family released a statement on October 18 expressing their gratefulness for the care Lori received after the shooting.
“Since Tuesday’s events, we have experienced every possible emotion. Today, we are grateful that Lori is alive. She is doing well and we are happy to report that her positive outlook and sense of humor are shining through,” they wrote. “She remains in stable condition, and we are optimistic that she will make a full recovery. We are grateful for the outpouring of cards, flowers, and letters of support. We would especially like to thank the first responders, including her co-workers, the emergency dispatchers, BC Ambulance Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Poliece, and the emergency and trauma teams at the Royal Columbian Hospital.”
It is reported that Bowcock is in good spirits and has expressed interest in taking the firearms training now available to CBSA officers. “She’s talking about getting back on the horse,” Scoville said. “But, she can take some time off.”
The shooting is being investigated by the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigative Team as an attempted homicide, but no motive had been determined.
“In my 27 years, I’ve never seen anything close to it,” Scoville said. He said that the only other border incident he could recall was one that occurred in southern
Ontario in 1972.
Canada media networks have reported that Bowcock has been released from the hospital and is at home recovering.