South Vancouver shooting was targeted, police seeking 3 people seen leaving the scene
VANCOUVER -- Police say Vancouver's eighth homicide of 2021 was targeted, but they're not yet saying whether the Friday night shooting was gang related.
Officers were called to the intersection of Kent Avenue and Kerr Street around 10 p.m. for reports of shots fired across from Riverfront Park, Vancouver police said Saturday.
When they arrived, police said, they found 44-year-old Alvis Anjesh Singh dead in his vehicle.
Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Const. Tania Visintin told reporters at a news conference Saturday afternoon that Singh was known to police, and that investigators believe he was targeted.
She stopped short of connecting the killing to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict, however.
"This definitely was a targeted incident," Visitin said. "Investigators are still determining if it's part of the current gang conflict. I believe (the victim) has, years ago, there were some gang ties there, but (investigators are) determining if it's part of the present conflict."
Laura Ubial was sitting at her table doing some work when she heard the shots.
“I heard loud pops,” she told CTV News Vancouver. “At least seven or eight? That’s what my husband and I thought we heard.”
Ubial said she went out on her porch to see what was going on.
“I did see a vehicle leaving rather quickly,” she said. “I think it was a light-coloured, small SUV, but I didn’t get the type of car.”
The squealing tires and gunshots woke up Hannah Amar.
“I heard the men shouting, they were shouting, ‘That was gun shots, that was gun shots,’” she told CTV News.
She added that shortly after officers arrived, she “heard police say they found it at 59th and Ontario.”
Sure enough, police confirmed Saturday that a burned-out SUV was found near Sexsmith Elementary School, near the intersection of West 59th Avenue and Ontario Street, shortly after the shooting.
"The investigation is still in the preliminary stages, but investigators believe the burnt out vehicle is connected to the homicide," police said in a news release.
Investigators are looking for three people who were seen inside a silver SUV with a sunroof that drove east on Kent Avenue after the shots were heard, police said.
They're asking anyone who has dash cam video from between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Friday in the area of Langara Golf Course and Sexsmith Elementary School to contact the Vancouver Police Department's Homicide Unit at 604-717-2500.
No arrests have been made, police said.
The recent surge in gang killings in Metro Vancouver has tended to follow a pattern, in which getaway vehicles are found torched shortly after shootings take place.
Visintin acknowledged that this latest incident fits that pattern, and said the ongoing gang conflict in the region is troubling to police, and "retaliation is always a concern."
"Of course, it's very concerning," she said. "It's reckless behaviour by these individuals."