Corrections officer gunned down in Delta was a big brother figure who set a positive example, friends say
VANCOUVER -- Bikramdeep Randhawa wanted to become a police officer.
And he was used to working hard, those close to him say.
Randhawa worked as a corrections officer and as a package delivery man, and made extra cash mowing lawns and dropping off takeout for a food delivery app.
The 29-year-old, who friends say went by “Vicky,” was also studying full-time, with just one semester of college left, and putting in extra time to bulk up at the gym.
On Saturday afternoon, at the height of a busy shopping day at Scottsdale Centre in North Delta, Randhawa was fatally shot.
Investigators have cast a wide net and said the motive for the shooting could be anything from his professional life as a guard since 2016, to something in his personal life, to a case of mistaken identity.
Two close friends, who’ve known Randhawa for years, called him a “really good role model” and insisted he could never be involved in anything wrong or nefarious.
Those friends declined to go on camera or use their real names out of fear they could potentially become targets. CTV News Vancouver agreed to identify them as “Raman” and “Sukh.”
“He was like an older brother figure,” said Raman, who lived with Randhawa for two-and-a-half years.
“He was always teaching me how to get on the right path,” he said, adding that his “big brother” had inspired him to pursue his own career in policing.
Both friends said they were feeling shock and disbelief from their loss, along with growing pain over the lack of answers.
“Was he just caught in the middle of something?” asked Sukh. “Was he there at the wrong time?”
Video from the mall parking lot that afternoon, recorded by a witness, shows a man dressed in black picking up what appears to be a gun before running and vaulting a hedge, then jumping into a getaway car, a grey SUV.
That video was recorded hundreds of yards away, his friends said, from where Randhawa crashed his car at a gas station.
Witnesses also reported hearing two sets of six shots, some time apart.
Raman and Sukh said these small pieces of evidence have left them with a growing list of questions.
“We’re left blank,” Raman said. “We don’t have answers to anything that happened.”
“We just need to know the why,” Sukh added.
Both said they understood Randhawa was on his way home from work at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre and would likely have been wearing an official uniform jacket with a patch. They wondered whether he might have witnessed an altercation in the parking lot and might have been targeted after he tried to help.
Raman expressed frustration that police have not been able, at least publicly, to narrow down their list of motives.
On Thursday, Delta Police Department spokesperson Cris Leykauf told CTV News investigators “are still considering a full range of options.”
She also said police were not aware of any other injuries at the scene.
Raman said friends, family, and colleagues plan to gather for a vigil to remember his "big brother" at the scene of the shooting Friday evening.
“He had so many dreams, so many goals, a lot of things he wanted to do in life,” he said. “But he was just gone too soon.”