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Man shot dead in Princeton, B.C., was high-ranking gang member, court records suggest

An RCMP Cruiser can be seen in this file photo. (David Prisciak/CTV News) An RCMP Cruiser can be seen in this file photo. (David Prisciak/CTV News)
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Police have identified a man found dead in B.C.’s Interior last weekend as Donald “Donnie” Lyons.

Princeton Mounties responded to a report of shots fired around 2:30 p.m. last Saturday, according to the Southeast District Major Crimes Unit. Police found an unresponsive man in a driveway on Princeton Summerland Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Thursday, the RCMP confirmed the victim was 51-year-old Lyons.

Police say they are still investigating the suspicious death and believe the shooting was targeted, with no ongoing risk to public safety.

Online court records indicate Lyons was a high-ranking member of the Independent Soldiers gang with a history of weapon and drug-related crimes.

A 2012 B.C. Supreme Court decision, wherein Lyons was challenging his transfer from a minimum-security to medium-security prison, which was done due to safety threats against him within the facility, says he was serving a six-year sentence for various offences related to drug trafficking and possession of prohibited weapons.

“These offences arose from his involvement as a high-ranking and trusted member of the ‘Independent Soldiers,’ a criminal organization based in the Kelowna area,” the decision reads.

The document notes that Lyons had claimed to have cut ties with the gang, but “the extent of his involvement cannot be underestimated.”

Public records also show Lyons was due to stand trial for an assault charge in Princeton in September. In addition, he was scheduled to appear in court in Kelowna on a charge of uttering threats in January, but didn’t show up and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Police are appealing for information about Lyons’ killing, including dash camera video along Princeton Summerland Road between 1 and 3 p.m. on June 15. Anyone who “observed anything suspicious” is asked to contact the Major Crimes Unit at 1-877-987-8477.

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