Tweet possibly tipped off shooter in targeted B.C. hit
Published Saturday, March 24, 2012 7:25PM PDT
One of the people gunned down at a popular downtown Vancouver restaurant on March 16 tweeted his location shortly before he was shot.
Ahamed Althaaf Ismail – a talented local 24-year-old rapper based in Vancouver using the stage name Lazeevil – posted twice that evening that he was going to the Italian Kitchen on Alberni Street.
"Headed to Italian Kitchen" for his friend's "bornday," he wrote at 3:37 p.m. At 10:20 p.m., he wrote "@ the Italian kitchen… Tasty…"
Shortly after that, Ismail and another 19-year-old were gunned down. Both are expected to survive. Vancouver police are investigating the motive for the shooting and who the would-be killers or targets were.
Const. Doug Spencer, a gang expert who works for Odd Squad and the Transit Police, said he'd never seen Twitter used in a targeted hit before.
"That's a first for me," he told CTV News. "They're naïve in that if someone is trying to kill you, you don't advertise where you are. Simple stuff, right?"
Friends of Ismail would not agree to an interview, but said they wanted it clear that Ismail may have been in trouble with the law before, but he wanted to live a normal life.
Ismail's videos are stockpiled with gangster clichés, including stacks of cash, death tattoos, and giant bags of marijuana.
He doesn't have a criminal record in B.C., but a media outlet reported that he served time in Australia for importing liquid cocaine.
Spencer said people should avoid posting too much information about themselves online because it can be used against them. He added that too many young people are unaware of the real dangers of associating with gangs.
"If you get noticed by other gangs, you're at risk, even if you're not completely involved," he said.