Police warn gang violence could hurt bystanders
Police tape lies on the ground outside of a banquet hall in B.C. following a shooting, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013.
Published Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:36PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, January 17, 2013 1:56PM PST
The latest shooting in Metro Vancouver has police concerned about the potential for innocent bystanders getting hurt in the crossfire of what could be a return to gang-related violence in the region.
RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen said a man was arrested five minutes after four people were shot in a targeted hit Wednesday night at a packed banquet hall in Richmond, B.C.
Thiessen said the suspect was taken into custody a short distance from the scene, where 150 people were gathered.
"Police recognize these types of incidents are very concerning to the public," he said Thursday. "The potential for innocent people to be hurt is high."
Since Sunday, four people have died and four others have been injured in several violent incidents in Metro Vancouver.
Police have said at least five of the incidents were either gang or crime related.
Mounties said two men were critically injured in the banquet-hall shooting while two others suffered less serious gunshot wounds and that all the victims are in stable condition.
Police described a chaotic scene at the hall as an estimated 100 witnesses were transported on a transit bus for further questioning to the local detachment.
Mounties in neighbouring Surrey are investigating three targeted shootings that have claimed four lives in that city since Sunday.
Homicide teams identified known gang associate Manjinder Singh Hairan, 29, as the man shot to death early Tuesday morning in a north Surrey neighbourhood.
The attack came just 36 hours after a double murder in a Surrey apartment garage left John McGiveron and Geordie Carlow, both 33, dead of gunshot wounds.
Just hours before that Jan. 13 incident, police said Manjot Dhillon was the victim of a targeted, gang-related hit, but investigators have not linked any of those crimes and noted the Richmond shooting is unrelated.
Gang violence rocked Metro Vancouver in 2011, when police issued a public warning saying anyone near gangster Sukh Dhak, who was also associated with the so-called Duhre group, could be in danger.
Dhak and his bodyguard Thomas Mantel were gunned down in Burnaby, a month after notorious gangster Jonathan Bacon was shot dead in a daring gangland hit in Kelowna, where several of his associates were injured.
Bacon's brother, Jamie Bacon, is among four men accused of first-degree murder in a 2007 mass killing, in which six people -- including two innocent bystanders -- were shot in a Surrey highrise.
Jamie Bacon's middle brother, Jarrod, is serving a 12-year sentence on drug trafficking charges.
Various gang trials have clogged the courts in B.C.