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'He was a victim, he was loved': Mother of Coquitlam shooting victim speaks out

Last Updated Apr 23, 2021 at 11:52 pm PDT

(Courtesy Richard Stewart)

Lianne McKinney says her son struggled as a teenager, only turned 20 last month

The young man was killed while playing basketball with friends, according to his mother

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — After Bailey McKinney was shot dead on a Coquitlam basketball court this week, police said the killing was “targeted.” But his mother says that description is leading people to make assumptions about how her son lived — and why he died.

Lianne McKinney says her son struggled as a teenager, and only turned 20 last month.

“My son had some troubles in his teen years, and he hung out with the wrong people. He was coming around, he’d seen the error of his ways, and was changing his life,” she says.

“People talk like he came here for a drug deal or something. He came here and was with playing basketball with his friends, unarmed, and someone came and shot him. He was a victim.”

RELATED: One dead after shooting at Coquitlam basketball court

Monday’s shooting at the Town Centre happened around 6:30 p.m. By the time police arrived, Bailey was dead, and the shooter had fled. No one has been arrested.

A makeshift memorial with candles and flowers was set up after Bailey was killed.

Lianne says her son played hockey and lacrosse, was a part of the community in Coquitlam and had hopes for his future.

“He was a kid who was turning his life around. Give it another year and he could have had this all figured out. He has a big family that loves him, and we’ll continue to love him and be proud of him for the rest of our days. ”

There have two other deadly shootings in the Lower Mainland recently, both in public places. Last Saturday, a man was gunned down at Carderos’ restaurant in Vancouver. On Wednesday, a man was killed outside the langley Sportsplex. In both of those cases, police said the victims were known to police because of their ties to gangs.

Bailey is not known to have any such connections. Court records show someone with the same name and who was the same age was facing a number of criminal charges. That person was scheduled to appear in court on April 20  — the day after Bailey was killed. The offences date back to 2019.