Victim of fatal Richmond shooting identified; homicide investigators call for witnesses
RICHMOND, B.C. -- The victim of a fatal shooting in Richmond's Steveston neighbourhood has been identified and homicide investigators are asking witnesses to come forward.
RCMP were called to Garry Street and Fentiman Place at 8:30 p.m. Thursday after reports of shots fired near Steveston Community Park.
When officers arrived they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was rushed to hospital but succumbed to his injuries, and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was called to take conduct of the case.
On Friday, authorities identified the victim as 29-year-old Vancouver resident Anees Mohammed, and said they believe his killing was targeted.
"Mohammed was known to police and we believe he was targeted for murder," Sgt. Frank Jang of IHIT said in a news release.
“This fatal shooting appears to be linked to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict and IHIT will be working with its regional policing partners to mitigate any further violence.”
Jang confirmed the Steveston shooting is linked to another targeted shooting just one day earlier.
On Wednesday, 24-year-old Gary Kang was gunned down in a Surrey home, where members of his family were present, police said.
The RCMP warned Kang’s murder may trigger retaliation.
“There is potential for further retribution among these violent criminal enterprises. If you are involved in gangs in the Lower Mainland, you may be in danger,” said Cpl. Elenore Sturko at the time.
It's currently unclear what kind of gang affiliations Mohammed and Kang had.
Homicide investigators worked with the Richmond RCMP serious crime unit and general investigative services through the night to gather evidence. On Friday, they began going door-to-door in the neighbourhood, seeking witnesses and video evidence.
IHIT asked anyone with surveillance video or dash cam video from the area on Thursday night to contact investigators "immediately."
They also appealed to those linked to gangs with insider knowledge to contact them.
“We're asking the people who are in a position to stop this violence – the perpetrators the people who are responsible for this very conflict – to have some sense to have some decency and say, ‘We should all agree: this is unacceptable. We can't be shooting each other, spilling blood on public streets,’” Jang said.
A large portion of Steveston Community Park, as well as a few nearby residential streets and alleys were behind police tape Friday morning.
Police seemed to be focused on the north side of the park, near the off-leash dog area.