Andrew Crews, Wash. State gunman, texted mother before wounding Canadian border guard, stepfather says

Police investigate a van at the scene of a shooting at the Blaine, Wash./Surrey, British Columbia border crossing Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012.
Police investigate a van at the scene of a shooting at the Blaine, Wash./Surrey, British Columbia border crossing on Oct. 16, 2012
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward

(CBS/AP) SEATTLE - Investigators said the gunman who wounded an unarmed Canadian border guard and then killed himself was a 32-year-old Washington State tattoo artist who texted his mother hours before the shooting.

Officer Lori Bowcock was on her way to a full recovery after being shot in the neck Tuesday afternoon at a busy U.S.-Canada crossing north of Seattle, Canadian officials said Wednesday.

Authorities said Andrew Crews was driving a van into Canada when he fired at Bowcock in her booth, then turned the gun on himself. Crews died at the scene.

His stepfather, Danny Lupinek said Wednesday that Crews texted his mother hours before the shooting to say he loved her - and was sorry.

Lupinek said Crews didn't explain what he meant in his text, and the family was unable to reach him after that. He said Crews had given no indication he was upset or headed to Canada.

"This investigation remains in the early stages and investigators are attempting to determine a motive," Superintendent Kevin Hackett of the British Columbia homicide investigation team handling the probe said Wednesday.

The investigation team was treating the case as an attempted murder.

Agents with Homeland Security Investigations were assisting British Columbia authorities by following leads on the U.S. side of the border, said Andrew Munoz, spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Bowcock remained hospitalized Thursday in British Columbia, and Canada Border Services Agency spokeswoman Faith St. John described her condition as improving.

"She is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery," said Roslyn MacVicar, the agency's Pacific regional director. "Her mother and brothers are by her side."

Bowcock worked as a civilian dispatcher at police headquarters in London, Ontario, until last spring. As a new border guard, she had not yet completed training that would allow her to carry a gun, the Border Services Agency said.

Crews had lived in the Bremerton area but recently moved to the Seattle area.

Friends said Crews had worked at a Lucky Boys tattoo parlor in Silverdale, near Bremerton, and Lupinek confirmed that his stepson had worked as a tattoo artist. Crews also worked at Under the Needle Tattoo in Seattle.

Several TV stations talked with Keith Munyon of Marysville, Washington, identified as a cousin of Crews.

"It doesn't make sense to me," Munyon told reporters, adding his cousin seemed like "a loving guy" and "mellow-mannered."

More on Crimesider
Oct. 17, 2012 - Gunman wounds Canadian border guard, kills self while driving across Wash. State border, officials say

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App