(Photo by GoFundMe for Clint Smith)

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to support a Nanaimo man now recovering from life-threatening gunshot wounds. 

On Sunday, March 12th, small business owner, Clint Smith was one of six people who went to a shelterless encampment near the Millstone River, just below Terminal Avenue.

Related: Police investigate shots fired in downtown Nanaimo ‘shelterless encampment’

The group arrived at the homeless shelter encampment with the intent of retrieving stolen mechanic equipment stolen from Ernie’s Blackpoint Repair which Smith operates.

According to Nanaimo RCMP, an altercation involving gunshots broke out between those living at the encampment and the group of adults.

When paramedics arrived on scene, Smith was rushed to the hospital after being  shot in the stomach.

Experiencing the incident firsthand, on Sunday, one of the victims took to Facebook to recall the events of the altercation. 

“Today we went to retrieve some stolen property from my buddies shop that was stolen early yesterday morning,” the Facebook post read.

“They were not happy we were there and we gathered up the stolen property and things went sideways,first punches were thrown and then one pulled out a gun and began shooting! Then another went for a rifle and began shooting so here we are trying to get this stolen shit out of there and avoid getting shot.” 

“They chased us across the highway shooting.”

Now three days later, Smith is currently in a medically induced coma and is set for a third surgery this week.

Within 24 hours of the fundraiser’s launch, the GoFundMe page has already raised $17,366 of its $20,000 goal. 

With a lengthy recovery expected for Smith, fundraising organizers are asking the public for their continued support as Smith takes time away from his business to recover. 

“He has had two surgeries so far to repair the damage done and will need a minimum of one more surgery but at this time it remains uncertain,” said organizer, Kari Warner.

“It will be a long road ahead of recovery and as a business owner, there is no banked sick time or LTD to fall back on. This fundraiser helps to ease the stress of that for the family and they are truly thankful for the giving and prayers of many.” 

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