Charges laid in high-profile gang slaying at Vancouver hotel
A suspect has been charged in the brazen public execution of Sandip Duhre at Vancouver’s Wall Centre hotel, but police say others are still being pursued.
Duhre was shot repeatedly at a window table of the hotel’s busy Bar One restaurant on Jan. 17, 2012, causing terrified patrons to flee or fall to the floor.
On Wednesday, police confirmed a single count of first-degree murder had been sworn against suspect Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil. The 25-year-old former Montreal resident is believed to have fled Canada in the wake of Duhre’s murder, and was recently located in Greece.
He is being held in custody by Greek authorities pending his extradition back home, but Supt. Mike Porteous told reporters Alkhalil’s arrest solves just one piece of a larger puzzle.
“We believe this was a well-planned public execution involving a coordinated and deliberate effort,” Porteous said. “We also believe it was a contact killing related to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict.”
Police have not said Alkhalil was the shooter, or what role he is believed to have played in Duhre’s murder.
The suspect also faces an outstanding murder charge in connection with a gang killing in Toronto, and Vancouver police said he will likely be tried for that case first.
The Wall Centre shooting came just a few months after the Aug. 2011 gang ambush in Kelowna that claimed the lives of Red Scorpions gang leader Jonathan Bacon and injured full-patch Hells Angel Larry Amero.
Porteous could not confirm the incidents were linked, but said Alkhalil had ties to Amero and Bacon and it is “entirely possible” Duhre was killed in retribution.
“There was a lot of tit-for-tat with dozens of murders in the region, and in Kelowna,” Porteous said.
Prior to Duhre’s murder, the Duhre crime group received a rare police warning that cautioned gangsters’ friends and family members could be in jeopardy in the aftermath of Bacon’s slaying.
Porteous thanked the other police forces who helped in locating the suspect, including the RCMP, FBI, and police in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Niagra Falls.