RCMP officers remained at a Richmond condo building Monday morning, after 28-year-old man was killed in a gang-related shooting Saturday.
Dilraj Johal’s death marks the third fatal shooting in four days in Metro Vancouver, and it appears police are bracing for more gang-related violence as tensions rise.
"At times it seems that some have lost the understanding of the value of life. Three families in three nights have come to grips with losing a loved one. It seems likely more families will be impacted as this trend continues," Assistant Commissioner Michael LeSage with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit told reporters Sunday
LeSage noted Metro Vancouver has seen similar violence in the past, noting two high profile gang shootings in 2010 and 2011.
“Unfortunately we have seen back and forth gang related shootings and murders for decades in British Columbia and not enough done to curb the involvement of our youth in gang violence," he said.
“Many may remember the extreme violence that touched our communities across the province in the mid-2000s, notably hallmarked by the murders of Gurmit Dhak and then Jonathan Bacon … wound up with all of their lies, backstabbing, and double-crossing is their thirst for violence.”
Insp. Michelle Tansey, the acting officer in charge of IHIT told reporters that there was “good momentum” on the new Richmond investigation.
“It is no secret that IHIT has had an eventful past two weeks and our investigators are working long hours,” she said.
IHIT said social media posts have been part of its investigation.
Timeline of recent targeted shootings in Metro Vancouver
Dec. 27, 2020 - Harman Singh Dhesi
Nineteen-year-old Harman Singh Dhesi was shot and killed inside his vehicle near 137A Street and 90 Avenue in Surrey.
IHIT said Singh’s death was targeted and the teen was known to police.
Dec. 28, 2020 - Tequel Willis
A day after Dhesi’s death, 14-year-old Tequel Willis from Burnaby was shot and killed after getting out of a taxi in Surrey’s Guildford neighbourhood.
"It's likely the public has many questions about how someone so young could be involved in a lifestyle that would put them at risk for such a violent and tragic death,” Sgt. Elenore Sturko with Surrey RCMP said.
“Regardless of their background or circumstances, the senseless loss of life is a tragedy.”
Jan. 6, 2021 - Gary Kang
Gary Kang, 24, was shot and killed outside his family home in Surrey’s Morgan Heights neighbourhood in the early hours on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
Homicide investigators revealed later in the day that Kang had ties to local gang conflict, and warned that Kang’s death could cause further violence.
Surrey RCMP confirmed Kang was a member of a gang called the “Kang Crime Group”.
“There is potential for further retribution among these violent criminal enterprises. If you are involved in gangs in the Lower Mainland, you may be in danger,” said Sturko said at the time.
Jan. 7, 2021 - Anees Mohammed
Just a day after Kang’s death, 29-year-old Anees Mohammed was shot dead near a public park in Steveston.
The Vancouver resident also had gang ties, though police have not said which group or groups Mohammed was affiliated with.
Jan. 9, 2021 - Dilraj Johal
Dilraj Johal became the latest young man to die in the conflict on Saturday night.
Police say Johal was shot at a condo in Richmond just before midnight.
Police have not yet revealed what gang or gangs Johal was connected to.
So far there have been no charges in any of the five recent targeted shootings.