Surrey restaurant patrons targeted in 'public' shootout
Published Tuesday, June 9, 2015 8:21AM PDT Last Updated Tuesday, June 9, 2015 7:58PM PDT
Two men eating at a Surrey restaurant were the intended targets of a brazen shooting Monday night that police say could have been much worse given the very public location.
Glass was shattered on the patio of the Earls restaurant in a busy strip mall after shots rang out in the parking lot around 9 p.m.
Witnesses said a vehicle believed to be a silver SUV fled the scene immediately afterwards, and the suspected shooting targets left in a blue vehicle before police arrived.
No one was injured, but the fact that the restaurant was open and busy when shots rang out has police very concerned.
“It’s a public event,” said Cpl. Jeff Milliard.
“There’s people eating outside on the restaurant patio, there's people walking around the movie theatres. It’s a very busy mall, [we’re] very concerned about what’s going on.”
Restaurant patrons on the patio were rushed inside by staff, who kept people inside until RCMP arrived.
“We had the front doors held open for people. My shift manager then locked down all the doors after bringing everybody inside,” Earls general manager Ryan Emmerson told CTV Vancouver.
“People were a little shaken up.”
Investigators shut down the entire scene, around 72nd Avenue and 120th Street, as they searched the restaurant for evidence and interviewed witnesses.
Officers from the serious crimes unit canvassed the area Tuesday for additional video surveillance in hopes of identifying a suspect.
Sgt. Dale Carr said IHIT was confident the persons involved would be identified quickly.
There have been more than 30 shootings in Surrey and Delta since early March, and police believe the incident is linked to those earlier shootings.
“We’re very lucky nobody got hit,” Cpl. Milliard said.
Earls brought in a grief counsellor to talk to affected staff, and management hoped to offer their services to any restaurant guest that may have been in last night.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.