Teen actress, model shot to death in Surrey
The father of an SFU student and aspiring actress shot to death in Surrey, B.C., on Wednesday said his daughter was having a late-night study session at campus before she was brutally murdered.
Nineteen-year-old Maple Batalia, who played a small part in 2011's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, was found critically wounded in a parking garage outside the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University around 1:30 a.m.
Responders tried desperately to save her life but she died in hospital.
The girl's parents say she was considering a career in medicine but her true love came from being in front of the camera. Batalia was set to compete in Surrey's Central City Model Search on Saturday.
"God should have taken me instead of such a cute darling child. It's all over," her father Harkirat Batalia said before breaking into tears.
"As parents, my wife and myself, we never expected that this drastic thing has happened to her. Such a cowardly person has taken away her life."
No arrests had been made by Wednesday afternoon.
Members of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spent the day scouring the area for any clues.
At a press conference at the scene, police said they are not sure whether the shooting is targeted.
Sgt. Peter Thiessen said there is no evidence to suggest the murder is linked to drugs or organized crime.
"We understand the public may be concerned that we're not able to provide more information regarding the reasons behind this shooting, but it's simply too early in the investigation to make any further statements," said Sgt. Thiessen.
Friends visiting the Batalia home to pay their respects Wednesday described the teen as a loving girl with lofty aspirations.
"Whatever she touched she turned into gold. She was that type of child. If she was my daughter I would be extremely proud," said neighbour Lynn Dovale.