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Gunman wounds Canadian border guard, kills self while driving across Wash. State border, officials say

Police investigate the scene of a shooting at the Blaine, Wash./Surrey, British Columbia border crossing, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, in Surrey. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Bert Paquet says a border officer was in her booth when she was shot in the neck at about 2 p.m. Tuesday by a man trying to enter Canada in a van with Washington state plates. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward) Jonathan Hayward

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

(CBS/AP) BLAINE, Wash. - A Canadian border guard was shot in the neck Tuesday afternoon at a Washington State crossing by a gunman who later killed himself, officials said.

Lori Bowcock was in stable condition after a man entered Canada in a van with Washington license plates and shot her while she was in her booth at the Peace Arch Crossing, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Bert Paquet. 

The gunman later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The gunman has not been identified, and the motive for the shooting is unknown.

The Peace Arch crossing in Blaine is the third-busiest port of entry on the northern border of Washington, and features a park with a 67-foot-high monument in the form of an arch that connects the U.S. and Canada. Last month, it averaged 9,000 U.S.-bound cars a day, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

Paquet said Canadian officials were sharing information with U.S. authorities. British Columbia's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is treating the case as an attempted murder.

"This is a very serious incident that occurred right on the border line," he said.

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire said she spoke to British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and pledged the state's cooperation and help in the investigation.

"This tragedy hits especially close to home, and reminds us all that our public safety officers put their lives on the line every day to protect the rest of us," Gregoire said.

Her remarks were echoed by the president of the Canada Border Services Agency.

"This is a profound reminder of the risks that border services officers assume every day," Luc Portelance said in a statement from Ottawa. "I know that the courage and dedication of our officers are second to none."

  • Crimesider Staff

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