Feud blamed for shooting at B.C. Sikh temple
Witnesses say a long-standing feud is to blame for a targeted shooting at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Surrey, B.C., on Saturday afternoon.
The shooting occurred in the parking lot of the temple, located in the 7000-block of Scott Road, at around 12:40 p.m. after an argument broke out between two men.
Surrey RCMP arrived shortly after to find a man suffering from a bullet wound in his upper thigh. He was taken to hospital and is expected to recover.
The temple was hosting wedding ceremony with hundreds of attendees at the time. Witnesses reported hearing multiple shots fired, and have identified a suspect who police are actively pursuing.
Police could not confirm whether the suspect or victim were guests at the wedding.
"It appears to be a targeted shooting," Insp. Steve Wade said. "It wasn't a random act of violence and it was in no way, as far as we know, related to the events that were taking place at the temple."
Wade said the suspect, who has not been named, does not have a criminal history.
Multiple witnesses told CTV News the shooter was Maninder Gill, owner of Radio India, and the victim was local businessman Harjit Atwal. The two have had a long-lasting dispute.
Gill has not been arrested or charged with any crime in connection with the shooting, and is presumed innocent.
Investigators are continuing to interview witnesses, and officers have obtained surveillance camera footage that may have captured the shooting.
Anyone with information on the shooting who has not spoken to police yet is asked to call the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Past controversies at the temple
The temple, considered one of the largest in North America, made headlines in 1997 when a power struggle between traditionalist and moderate Sikhs escalated into violence.
The ideological clash was over the use of tables and chairs in the temple dining hall.
The temple was also the focus of two hotly contested temple elections, the second of which was ordered after voter irregularities were discovered.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Bal Brach