Police 'confident' murdered B.C. corrections officer was victim of mistaken identity

Investigators believe a B.C. corrections officer who was murdered in a busy parking lot last year was mistaken for someone involved in gang activity – and they have identified multiple suspects in the killing.

Bikramdeep Randhawa was off-duty when he was gunned down outside a Walmart in Delta on May 1, 2021, in a brazen act of public violence that shocked the community and left his loved ones devastated.

On Tuesday, the Delta Police Department said authorities are "confident" Randhawa's murder was a case of mistaken identity, and that the killers were apparently targeting someone associated with the Lower Mainland's bloody gang conflict.

“It is not lost on the investigative team, or the Delta Police as a whole, the tragedy of seeing an innocent person caught up in the senseless violence of the ongoing gang conflict," Deputy Chief Harj Sidhu said in a statement.

Authorities said they have spoken with the intended target to inform him about the attempt on his life.

Randhawa was 29 years old at the time of his murder. Those close to him were quick to suggest he was the victim of mistaken identity, though police initially only acknowledged that they were considering a range of possibilities.

"We had other investigative theories that we had to rule out," Sgt. Gary Koonar told CTV News on Tuesday. "After collecting evidence and data over the past year and sifting through our evidence and data, we are able to publicly confirm that this was the case – that it was a case of mistaken identity."

Days after the shooting, the deceased's brother, Dupinder Randhawa, called the family’s sudden loss "a complete shock."

“This is the biggest thing I have lost in my life,” he said at the time. “I never expected this to happen like this.”

Police have also identified suspects in the shooting, though their names have not been released. Koonar only said the department is "working with other partnering agencies to bring those responsible for this murder to justice."

Investigators put out a renewed call for anyone with information on the murder to come forward, either to Delta police or Crime Stoppers.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Angela Jung