Police have confirmed the two people gunned down in the lobby of a Burnaby hotel Monday were high-profile gangster Sukh Dhak and his bodyguard Thomas Mantel.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was called to probe the killings, but has yet to confirm any potential suspects or a motive.

Criminologist Rob Gordon told CTV News he suspects the shooting may be payback for gang slayings that date back years.

“What might be happening here is that the guys who are involved in retaliatory shootings are taking their time,” Gordon said.

The gangster’s brother Gurmit Dhak was gunned down at Metrotown mall in October 2010, and gang experts say other members of the Dhure-Dhak crime group have been targeted since.

The gang, in turn, is believed to be responsible for the murder of Jonathan Bacon, of the notorious Bacon brothers, last August in Kelowna.

“It did involve the Duhre-Dhak group, the combatants were bringing individuals in from the United States to do the shootings,” Gordon said.

In September 2011, one month after Bacon was killed, B.C.’s Gang Task Force issued an unusual warning that anyone with links to the Duhre-Dhak group could be at risk of violence, including family members and friends.

Sukh Dhak and his bodyguard appear to have been targeted in a hail of gunfire that left the front area of the Executive Hotel on Lougheed Highway marked by bullet holes and littered with broken glass at around 11:30 a.m.

Witnesses report hearing as many as 20 shots fired, and police said it was a miracle that nobody else was injured.

“It’s brazen, it’s cold and we have many, many investigators on scene looking into this,” Sgt. Jennifer Pound told reporters Monday.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call police at 1-877-551-IHIT or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 if they wish to remain anonymous.

With files from CTV British Columbia’s Penny Daflos