VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BRAIN) — Vancouver bike retailer Paul Dragan is in the hospital in critical but stable condition, according to news reports, after being shot Tuesday at a Starbucks across the street from one of his stores.
Dragan, in his early 50s, owns the Reckless Bikes Stores chain in Vancouver and is a former board member of the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC) and former president of the BC Bike Coalition. He was instrumental in organizing 2012's Velo-City Global event in Vancouver.
According to news reports, Dragan walked across the street from one of his stores early Tuesday to get a cup of coffee when he was shot. Police on bikes chased the suspect for several blocks before arresting him after shooting him near a science museum. The suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment for gun shots. At least one police officer was also injured.
Initial news reports indicated that Dragan may have been a random victim. However, CTV News reported Wednesday that there may have been a prior connection between Dragan and the suspect, through a rental property that Dragan operated.
On Wednesday the suspect was identified as Gerald Mark Battersby, 61. He has been charged with six counts of attempted murder and other offenses.
U.S. retail consultant Dan Mann said he met Dragan through BTAC. He said Dragan is "influential across the country and a prominent leader in the Vancouver scene."
"He's a good guy, a good man and a very innovative retailer. He has built bikes, built a number of shops, and was instrumental in making Vancouver what it is today," Mann said. Mann said he didn't know anything about the incident beyond what is in news reports.
Dragan served on the BTAC board for about five years, said Janet Bauer, who was the organization's executive director during that period.
"Paul is a great guy, a very giving person, always willing to get involved with different advocacy efforts ... he was always one to put forth volunteer hours in the community for cycling," she said.
The Reckless Bike Shop website is down for maintenance. An employee at the Reckless location on Fir Street told BRAIN on Wednesday that he was not allowed to speak to the press, referring questions to a manager who had not arrived yet. The store was open for business Wednesday.
More information: Calgary Herald news report.