Victim of shooting at Aldergrove McDonald's was known to police: IHIT
Published Wednesday, September 11, 2019 6:22AM PDT Last Updated Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:47AM PDT
Authorities say the man who was gunned down just outside a busy McDonald's restaurant in Aldergrove Tuesday night was known to police.
The brazen attack took place near the front entrance of the fast food restaurant near 264 Street and 56 Avenue, and left the people dining inside terrified as stray bullets shattered panes of glass.
Witnesses said they heard multiple gunshots as the victim fell to the ground.
Speaking to reporters the next morning, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said it's extremely fortunate that no innocent bystanders were harmed.
"The bullets don't discriminate," Sgt. Frank Jang said. "They can go anywhere. They can ricochet. The fact that they didn't strike a child, a mom or a dad… we're incredibly thankful that nobody else was hurt."
Jang said authorities could not release the victim's name because they have not been able to reach his next of kin, but that he had gang connections and was well-known to police. Investigators believe his killing was targeted.
Though investigators spent the night interviewing witnesses, Jang said they believe there are "a lot more people" who haven't spoken with police.
"If you were there and can speak to a possible suspect description, we need you to come forward," Jang said. "We're doing our absolute best to find these people and bring them in, but unfortunately we can't do that without the help of the community."
The shooting caused a chaotic scene at the McDonald's, and police said they understand if some of the people who were there feel traumatized. IHIT said victim's services can be provided to people who come forward.
Jang said even he found the scene traumatizing, despite his years of policing.
“It’s quite traumatic and I’ll stop there. And certainly I would say it is a miracle, by God’s grace, whatever language you choose to use, that nobody else was hurt," he said.
Witness Danielle Washington told CTV News she had just pulled into the parking lot and was getting out of her vehicle with her young daughters when the shots rang out not far from them.
"There were so many people there in the parking lot," Washington said. "If we had been there another 45 seconds or so that would have been me and my kids, right where the body was."
Police were quickly called to the area, taping off not just the restaurant but also a neighbouring gas station and Tim Horton’s as well as the parking lot of a tire shop near Gloucester Way.
An SUV was found burning on a rural stretch of Lefeuvre Road in Abbotsford not long after the shooting. Police have not confirmed if that vehicle may be related to the shooting. IHIT asked anyone who may have dash cam video from the area to contact police.
Investigators at the McDonald’s appeared to be paying close attention to a black pickup truck left in the parking lot.
Washington says her daughters saw the victim's body and are now traumatized.
"My kids are just devastated and distraught. They are just young girls," Washington said. "That's my family. That's my life. It was just way too close to home."
"This has to stop. People need to realize there are families out there, people out there, and this kind of stuff, it's got to stop," she said.