RCMP confirm Jonathan Bacon killed in shooting
Published Monday, August 15, 2011 4:36PM PDT
RCMP confirm Jonathan Bacon, the eldest of three brothers police have linked to a violent gang, died in a shooting Sunday that also injured a Hells Angel.
Mounties have pledged to take "swift and extraordinary measures" to find those responsible for the brazen daylight shooting, which also injured two women Sunday in Kelowna. A fifth potential victim fled the scene.
Police say all five were in a white Porsche SUV that was ambushed by a man in a balaclava wielding an automatic weapon as it was exiting the Delta Grand Okanagan hotel at around 2:45 p.m.
The surviving occupants' injuries are not considered life-threatening, and no one has been arrested. Police say they do not know how many suspects are involved.
One of the victims has been identified as Larry Amero, a full-patch Hells Angel with the White Rock chapter who is now in hospital in critical condition. The niece of the president of the Haney Hells Angel chapter was also shot, and flown to Vancouver General Hospital for treatment.
Police sources tell CTV News that Bacon, a Red Scorpions associate, Amero and a member of the gang the Independent Soldiers had recently formed an alliance to import and export drugs. The new group dubbed itself the Wolf Pack.
Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon expects retaliation for the shooting.
"It might happen," he told reporters Monday.
At a press conference Sunday night, RCMP Const. Steve Holmes said the general public is not believed to be at risk -- but added that investigators are determined to hunt down the suspects and bring them to justice.
"The public needs to know that swift and extraordinary measures are being taken in order to ensure that those responsible will be found and brought to account," Holmes said.
Police say no bystanders were struck by stray gunfire or otherwise injured in the shooting.
The shooting suspect is believed to have emerged from a vehicle described as a "silvery-green SUV" with tinted windows moments before the shooting.
One witness said the shooter held what "looked to me like automatic weapon," and that between 15 and 20 shots were fired. Another reported hearing 30 shots, or "at least one full clip," unloaded into the Porsche.
On Sunday night, a burned-out vehicle was found on a back road between Winfield and Vernon, but police have not confirmed whether it is related to the shooting.
The Bacon brothers are believed to head the Red Scorpions gang, which has waged a bloody war with the rival United Nations gang in B.C. for years.
During that time, each brother has made headlines in high-profile criminal cases. Jonathan was charged in a massive drug and weapon bust in 2005, Jamie remains in police custody as a suspect in the notorious Surrey Six murder case and Jarrod was arrested in 2008 as part of a major drug-trafficking investigation.
Shooting was inevitable, former Mountie says
This wasn't the first time an attempt has been made on Jonathan Bacon's life. He survived a shooting in the driveway of his family home in Abbotsford in 2005, and members of the UN gang were charged with conspiracy to murder the brothers in 2009.
Former RCMP inspector Bill Majher says Bacon's execution was only a matter of time.
"It doesn't surprise me. What goes through my mind is, good riddance," he told CTV News.
"At the end of the day, [the Bacon brothers] are punks, and we have given them all of this glory and they are wallowing in it."
With files from The Canadian Press and CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington