Whitehorse RCMP search a vehicle involved in a shooting on the Alaska Highway near Trails North Car and Truck Stop in Whitehorse on Jan. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

UPDATED: Porter Creek highway shooting now attempted murder investigation

Police believe incident was “targeted and related to the illicit drug trade and organized crime”

A shooting on the Alaska Highway in Porter Creek on Jan. 24 is now an attempted murder investigation, police say, and believed to be tied to “the illicit drug trade and organized crime.”

In a press release Jan. 25, Yukon RCMP said investigators had located two occupants of a Hyundai Sonata that was found in the ditch between Centennial Street and Wann Road the day before but are still searching for a suspect.

The occupants were uninjured.

Police had been called to the area around 12:40 p.m. on Jan 24 after reports of the sound of gunshots.

The car, which was empty when officers arrived, “appeared to have been shot at.”

The incident “is believed to be targeted and related to the illicit drug trade and organized crime,” the press release says, and is now being treated as a double attempted murder investigation.

“We are very concerned with this overt display of violence and the blatant disregard for public safety,” Whitehorse RCMP Insp. Lindsay Ellis said in the press release. “A number of specialized units have been working around the clock on this active investigation and in searching for the suspect, who remains at large.”

A portion of the Alaska Highway was closed for several hours for investigation Jan. 24, with a heavy police presence in the surrounding area.

In a press conference Jan. 28, Yukon RCMP Insp. Supt. Chan Daktari Dara told reporters that the suspect’s SUV has since been recovered within Whitehorse city limits, but that the suspect is still outstanding.

He’s described as a black male standing about six feet tall; Dara said investigators do not know his identity, nor have a more detailed description. He also said it’s unknown whether the suspect is still in Whitehorse, but, because the shooting is believed to have been targeted, there’s little risk to the public.

Police are asking anyone who sees the suspect to not approach him and call Whitehorse RCMP immediately at 867-667-5555.

Any witnesses are also urged to contact police.

With files from Crystal Schick

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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Yukon RCMP Supt. Chan Daktari Dara speaks to media in Whitehorse regarding the recent shooting on the Alaska Highway on Jan. 28. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

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