A series of extremely bold and fatal gang-related shootings, often taking place during the day and in busy areas, has been riddling Metro Vancouver with violent incidents over the past month.
In response, police in several municipalities have provided updates on their increased efforts to address to address gang activity in the Lower Mainland.
On May 13, Surrey RCMP stated in a news release that it had already implemented “aggressive action plan to target gang activity” in January, in response to increased gang activity in the Lower Mainland.
The plan involves focussing on individuals who pose the most risk to public safety due to “their actions, affiliations, involvement with gangs, and drug trafficking”.
The Surrey Gang Enforcement Team has been boosted with Surrey RCMP Mobile Street Enforcement Team officers, which have direct contact with Surrey gang members and affiliates through curfew checks, targeted enforcement, and vehicle bans.
The team is also employing specialized technology such as automatic license plate readers to identify stolen license plates.
The Delta Police Department (DPD) stated today (May 17) that it launched a new team on May 15 that will focus on potential gang activity.
DPD Chief Neil Dubord confirmed in a news release that police know the identities of gangsters and who their family members and associates are.
“Our analysts work closely with intelligence experts from across Metro Vancouver to share information and make sure we are well-informed on the movements of gang members.”
In addition, Dubord explained that in the Inadmissible Patron Program, police share information with restaurants and business about known gangsters.
Dubord said that about half of current gang members are estimated to be teenagers.
“Contrary to what some might think, it’s not poverty that has driven them to crime,” Dubord stated. “These youths typically come from a middle-class background but may suffer from other forms of trauma.”
Today (May 17), the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) released a list of the top six gangsters in Vancouver who pose a “significant risk” to public safety.
“I want all Vancouver residents to know the faces of these individuals and to keep their distance from them,” VPD Chief Const. Adam Palmer stated in a news release.
The six individuals are:
- 35-year-old Garinder Deo;
- 38-year-old Harjit Deo;
- 28-year-old Meninder Dhaliwal;
- 38-year-old Barinder Dhaliwal;
- 22-year-old Ekene Anigbo;
- 41-year-old Damion Ryan.
The VPD stated that there have been 20 attempted murders and 20 homicides in 2021 that have been linked to gangs
Police are anticipating that the violence will not only continue but also increase.
“Our police intelligence leads us to believe that the individuals we have identified today may be targeted by rival gang members,” Palmer explained. “My greatest concern right now, related to the ongoing gang violence, is that an innocent bystander will be hurt or killed during a shooting targeting a gangster.”
The VPD launched a new taskforce on May 12 to focus on preventing and investigating gang violence. This taskforce includes major and organized crime investigators, as well as emergency response team, gang crime unit, patrol, and specialized unit officers.
Palmer also said that patrols will be increased throughout the city, particularly in areas with restaurants or business frequented by gangsters.
The latest spate of fatal shootings over this past month can be traced to an incident in mid-April.
April 17: The VPD stated on April 24 that 51-year-old Francois Joseph Gauthier was arrested and charged for the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Harpreet Singh Dhaliwal outside Cardero’s restaurant in Coal Harbour on April 17.
April 19: 20-year-old Bailey McKinney was fatally shot in Town Centre Park in Coquitlam.
April 21: 46-year-old Todd Gouwenberg of Langley was fatally shot outside the Langley Sportsplex.
May 1: 29-year-old B.C. corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa died from a shooting at Scottsdale Centre in North Delta.
May 3: In Langley, a man shot outside Willowbrook shopping centre was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries but is expected to survive.
May 4: In Surrey, 20-year-old Keryane Arsenault was shot in Guildford. Arsenault died from her injuries. A 24-year-old, Ali Khudhair, was charged on May 5.
May 8: In South Burnaby, 19-year-old Blerton (Toni) Dalipi died in hospital after being shot. A 20-year-old, Ahmed Riyaz Tahir, was charged on May 9.
May 9: At the Vancouver International Airport, 28-year-old United Nations gang member Karman Grewal was shot and killed.
May 13: In Burnaby, 23-year-old Jaskeert Kalkat died and two other people were injured in a shooting near the Cactus Club restaurant at Market Crossing mall.