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Bystanders ran for cover during targeted shooting Saturday in downtown Vancouver

Targeted attack on Saturday evening. No known injuries of people, no arrests, police said. Dogs may have been hurt.

Gunfire erupted in the middle of downtown Vancouver late Saturday afternoon sending people scrambling for cover, witnesses said.

Vancouver police later confirmed it was a targeted shooting.

“Evidence indicates the shooting was targeted, but at this time there are no known injuries and no arrests have been made,” Sgt. Steve Addison said in a statement.

Sources told Postmedia the target of the shooting is linked to the Brothers Keepers gang.

The shooting happened around 5:40 p.m. on Robson Street between Homer and Richards streets.

Mayor Ken Sim, who was in the area to attend a concert, later arrived at the scene to get a briefing from police.

“There was an incident here. Public safety was at risk,” Sim said. “I don’t have more to say at this point in time.”

One eyewitness who called 911 said a couple dozen people ran into an IGA store after the shots rang out.

He said a white vehicle pulled up behind a black SUV in an alleyway next to the Hilton Vancouver Downtown hotel. At least two people emerged from the white vehicle and fired at the black SUV before getting back into the vehicle and escaping down the alley.

Postmedia has learned two dogs were shot — one a pit bull and the other an Akita. Both were taken to a Vancouver vet by a friend of the target.

During the gunfire, the black SUV lurched forward from the alley and collided with a white SUV driving along Robson, the witness said.

Another witness said a woman was crying and being attended to by firefighters. The witness said she emerged from the central library and saw people running in all directions. Cyclists ditched their bikes in the middle of the street.

An employee at a nearby liquor store said he heard several gunshots. Some people ran into the store for cover.

As the black SUV was towed away about three hours later, images captured by a Canadian Press photographer showed what appeared to be several bullet holes in the passenger side windows.

Later in the evening, as soccer fans flooded Robson Street following a Whitecaps game at B.C. Place stadium, work crews were observed boarding up the side of a Tim Hortons that had had its windows shattered.