Eyewitness shares “intense moment” of shooting on Bath Road

Law enforcement officials mark evidence after a shooting occurred alongside Bath Road near Collins Bay Institution and the Henry Traill Correctional Centre on Friday, Mar. 24, 2023. Photo by Cris Vilela/Kingstonist.

It was “an intense moment” for Kingston resident George Shorey, and the evidence and eyewitness account he provided may be essential in the investigation into a shooting that occurred earlier today.

At approximately 11:58 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 24, 2023, Shorey was driving with his daughter and grandchildren. Approaching the intersection of Bath Road and Centennial Drive, he heard a number of loud bangs, like shots being fired, but he initially shrugged it off. That’s when he saw “puffs” coming off the ground – dust rising into the air from where bullets had struck the ground.

“At first I heard the shots, but it wasn’t until I saw the puffs on the ground that I realized it was real bullets – it could have been a movie going on for all I knew – so that’s when I realized we had to get out of here,” Shorey said, standing stoically alongside the same intersection where the events had taken place.

Kingstonian George Shorey recounts the moment he watched as shots were fired alongside Bath Road in the area in front of the Henry Traill Correctional Centre. Image via Daniel Tastard-Homer/Kingstonist.

With his six grandkids in the vehicle, Shorey knew he had to get away from the scene. But before he left, he observed at least one male shooting at another male out of a vehicle – and his daughter grabbed her phone to take some photos of her own. What he observed were the moments following the shootings, when at least two people were shot before the suspects fled the area. And those observations are already proving crucial to police investigations just hours after the shooting.

Shorey said that after the shots, the shooter he witnessed “piled into the car. They headed eastbound, circled around, came back up to the intersection, then turned around – where I got a good side shot [photo] of the car – and [they drove] back into the prison grounds and turned around again. I think they realized, ‘Let’s get out of here.’ [They] came up to the intersection; they were about to head eastbound on Bath [Road]. But they changed their minds, and they went straight through [on Centennial Boulevard],” he detailed. The photo below is one of the pictures Shorey and his daughter took before fleeing the area themselves.

The vehicle that George Shorey saw at least one man get out of to fire a handgun at another man. Submitted photo.

But once his daughter and grandchildren were safe, Shorey returned, literally, to the scene of the crime, “to talk to police” about what he’d witnessed.

In the meantime, Kingston Police, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and all of the police services in the region, received a BOLO (be on the lookout) call, notifying them of the suspects in the shooting – four Black males in a grey Honda car – who are to be considered wanted and armed. Now, because of Shorey and his daughter’s quick thinking, those police services have been able to narrow down what they’re looking for as they comb the area for the suspect vehicle.

While it is unclear if the shooting incident had anything to do with the federal penitentiary and adjacent minimum security facility metres from where the shooting occurred, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has since closed both facilities – Collins Bay Institution and Henry Traill Correctional Centre – as the investigation continues.

An OPP helicopter gets ready to continue the search for armed suspects involved in a shooting on Bath Road in Kingston earlier in the day on Friday, Mar. 24, 2023. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell/Kingstonist.

“The closure was ordered to ensure the safety and security of the institution, its staff, and inmates,” CSC said in a press release just after 2:20 p.m.

“Visits have been suspended while the incident is ongoing. Normal operations will resume as soon as it is considered safe to do so. We ask the public to avoid the area at this time.”

Shorey also said he didn’t know whether the incident had anything to do with the nearby prison and, although his tone remained steady, he voiced some shock to have seen it happen.

“I didn’t expect anything to happen around here, especially at this time of the day. It was a very intense moment, but I’m not one to panic. I panicked later,” he said with a smile, noting that his top priority was that his grandchildren were safe.

As the investigation continues, Kingston Police are asking people to avoid the area of Bath Road from Tanner Boulevard to Centennial Drive.

We will continue to provide updated coverage on this matter as more information becomes available.

With files from Daniel Tastard-Homer.

One thought on “Eyewitness shares “intense moment” of shooting on Bath Road

  • Great coverage Kingstonist. Your staff did a great job in putting all this together.

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