Man gunned down outside Langley Sportsplex in broad daylight
LANGLEY, B.C. -- Homicide investigators have been called to Langley after a fatal shooting outside the Langley Sportsplex.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says the shots rang out around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The complex is popular with families and is home to three daycares and numerous programs for children.
Witnesses say a man heading toward the gym was gunned down near the lobby.
Staff tried to revive him, but he died at the scene.
RCMP arrived a short time later and everyone inside the building was put on a “hold and secure,” meaning activities inside the building could continue, but no one was allowed to enter or leave.
Parents and other anxious families rushed to the complex when they heard the news.
“Luckily, none of the kids were hurt, but somebody's lying there dead,” said Gary Wideman as he waited for his three-year-old grandson to come out of the building. “You know, it could have been anybody, right? It could have been any of these kids.”
The pair were reunited about an hour later.
“It’s just the worst feeling,” Wideman told CTV News Vancouver. “It's sickening. I'm still shaking. It's just so scary.”
The victim’s body was placed under a sheet and later covered with a forensics tent.
RCMP blocked off the complex and the surrounding parkade with police tape.
The Forensic Identification Team was then called in to look for evidence.
“If our victim is who we believe he is, he was very well known to police and his death was targeted,” said Sgt. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
Kim Marfleet has been coaching skating in the building for seven years.
“I had no private lessons this morning, so I feel extremely blessed,” she said. “Somebody is definitely watching over me.”
“My team usually walks through this lobby right at the time that happened. So it's just unbelievable that we weren't in there.”
Marfleet says she’s shocked that the people responsible were so callous.
“I cannot believe that you would be so brazen to do this out in the open in the daytime,” she said.
Chris Labbe came to pick up his child from daycare and said it was difficult to believe someone would fire a gun with so many children around.
“You have no morals,” he said, in reference to whoever perpetrated the crime. “You come to a sportsplex where you know there’s daycare, there’s kids everywhere. You come there for violence?”
“As I speak I see kids around me, being dropped off by a school bus,” said Jang. “We should be infuriated by what’s taken place.”
A short time after the shooting, a burned vehicle was found in Port Coquitlam. Police believe it is linked to the crime.
Jang says they are looking at whether this killing is connected to a fatal shooting in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour neighbourhood over the weekend. Investigators do not think it’s linked to the murder of a man in a Coquitlam Park on Monday.
Jang is asking any witnesses to the shooting to come forward. Investigators are also urging people to check their dashcam video. They are looking for footage of a grey dodge pickup truck that would have left Sportsplex and likely gone over the Golden Ears Bridge and ended up near Terry Fox Park where the truck was found.
“That dash cam video may just make or break our case,” Jang said.
With files from Jordan Jiang