Police say two targeted shootings in Metro Vancouver yesterday afternoon don’t appear to be connected.
29-year-old Birinderjeet Justin Bhangu was gunned down and killed sitting in a vehicle parked outside a Surrey hotel in the Fleetwood neighborhood.
An hour later a 22-year-old man was shot in North Vancouver, he survived but is in serious condition.
No arrests have been made in either shooting.
North Vancouver RCMP Corporal Richard De Jong says the timing raises eyebrows.
“One shooting is too many. We have integrated teams working throughout the lower mainland sharing information targeting high-risk offenders and trying to bring an end to this violence that again, one is too many in our streets.”
De Jong says it’s all hands on deck looking for suspect vehicles: one a dark Nissan pathfinder and the other a dark Nissan sedan.
“We’re always concerned when there is violence on our streets, these individuals they are now being targetted in a way their life is at stake. And as we saw yesterday one survived, hopefully, and the other did not.”
Considering both were daylight shootings, police say it’s fortunate no one else was hurt.
“A continuation of a dull roar”
BC’s Public Safety Minister, Mike Morris says this latest spate of gang violence is shameful.
“Don’t get involved in gang life because it either ends up in death or jail and these are just stark reminders of that. And the families that have to go through this, you know, my heart goes out to them.”
Morris says as frightening as shootings like this are, people need to remember that the overall crime rate, as well as attempted murder rates in Surrey, are down.
But a noted criminologist says about the recent spat of targetted killings across Metro Vancouver is the “continuation of a dull roar.”
Simon Fraser University’s Rob Gordon says until social policy shifts when it comes to drugs, we will continue to see targetted shootings across the region.
Gordon says to some extent the shootings can be blamed on what’s happening over the border, “Where marijuana is now part of a regulatory taxation system as opposed to one that is subject to prohibition.”
Gordon says we’ll probably see a few more shootings before things taper off again.