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Gunfire erupts at birthday party, four men shot

Four men were injured, at least one critically, Wednesday night when a lone gunman entered a birthday party at the Riverside Banquet Hall and opened fire.

Richmond RCMP Insp. Bryon Massie said police were called around 9 p.m. to the hall, at 14500 River Rd., about a half kilometre east of No. 6 Road, at River Road.

Investigators believe the shooting was targetted.

It was chaos inside the hall when the shots rang out, with four people hurt, at least one with life-threatening injuries, and others with less serious injuries, he said.

The men suffered gunshot wounds and were taken to area hospitals, where protocols have been enacted to ensure they are safe, as well as others in the hospital.

"The scene was a special occasion of sorts, a birthday party," Massie said, adding that a special event liquor licence had been issued. Although he didn't know how many people attended the party, the licence permitted up to 100 people.

He said because of the large number of witnesses, it could take the remainder of the night, and perhaps well into the morning, before investigators complete their preliminary interviews as they try to piece together what happened and who was responsible.

With the help of a transit bus, the witnesses have been taken to the Richmond detachment to be interviewed, he said.

Massie said police believe there was only a single shooter.

"The situation is still unfolding. There are numerous witnesses that are being interviewed by the Richmond detachment serious crimes unit," Massie said.

"There is no information to suggest...this is related to events that have occurred in the Lower Mainland over the last week," he said, in reference to four other fatal shootings that police have said involved criminal activity.

Massie said he couldn't comment on if a suspect is in custody.

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