Vancouver airport shooting: Victim of deadly incident identified by homicide investigators
VANCOUVER -- Homicide investigators have identified the man gunned down outside Vancouver International Airport over the weekend as a long-time gang member.
Karman Grewal, 28, was shot in broad daylight outside the airport's domestic terminal on Sunday, by suspects who then allegedly opened fire on police while fleeing the scene in a speeding SUV.
Part of the chase was captured on a driver's dashboard camera. The video shows a maroon vehicle zooming away from YVR that afternoon.
"Holy f---, there's gunshots," a voice behind the camera says. "Oh my god."
The victim was identified during a joint news conference Monday, where various law enforcement agencies tried to quell public fear over escalating gun violence in the Lower Mainland.
Asst. Commissioner Dwayne McDonald of the B.C. RCMP acknowledged there is an "appreciable risk" to public safety involved in these brazen public attacks, pointing to Saturday's fatal shooting in Burnaby that left an innocent bystander in hospital.
"We are working around the clock in both overt and covert investigations to hit these gangsters at every possible turn," McDonald said.
"We are committed and we will be relentless in our hunt."
Authorities tried to trap the suspects in Sunday's shooting, with a containment effort that led to brief shutdowns of three Canada Line stations and several major roadways, but were ultimately unsuccessful.
Police intercepted the vehicle on Sea Island Way, just a few minutes east of the airport, but gave up the chase after the suspects opened fire. McDonald defended that decision on Monday, arguing that a "running gun battle" would have posed too great a danger to officers and the public.
"Unlike the movies, when bullets start to fly, they eventually stop somewhere," he said. "We can't take that chance."
A burning SUV believed to be the getaway vehicle was found in Surrey on Sunday night, some 28 kilometres from the crime scene.
B.C.'s top cop also praised the response from law enforcement. While the suspects escaped, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said he doesn't believe it was the result of a breakdown in communication or a failure by police.
“The events happened very quickly,” Farnworth said.
Rob Gordon, a criminologist at Simon Fraser University called the airport shooting “alarming” and said it had all the hallmarks of retaliation, albeit with killers who seemed more reckless and willing to put innocent people at risk.
“The various people in these shootings are prepared to go any lengths to score their target,” Gordon said.
While police have stressed they are working tirelessly across agencies to crack down on the deadly violence, B.C.'s anti-gang task force said authorities are also in dire need of the public's co-operation.
Manny Mann, assistant commissioner of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, asked anyone with information on gang activity to come forward immediately.
"Withholding information and keeping information to yourselves, if you have any as it relates to this gang violence – those times are over, folks," Mann said Monday. "Those of you that have information, whether it's family, friends, other community members, call your police. We need that information to advance our investigations."
Police are also looking for additional dash cam video that might have captured Sunday's getaway. They have asked for video from the following locations and time periods:
- Around YVR between 2:30 p.m. and 2:58 p.m.
- Major highways and roadways between YVR and the 9700 block of Princess Drive in Surrey between 2:58 p.m. and 3:24 p.m.
- The area around the 9700 block of Princess Drive around 3:30 p.m.