28-year-old man shot dead near Vancouver airport terminal: police
Hina Alam, The Canadian Press
Posted on Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 7:41 p.m. EDT
Last updated Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 9:15 p.m. EDT
RICHMOND, BC – The death of a 28-year-old man outside the departure terminal at Vancouver International Airport is believed to be linked to the ongoing gang conflict in Colombia’s Lower Mainland. British, according to police.
Sgt. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said the victim was known to police and the shooting should stop.
“I think we are all tired of seeing the violence that takes place on our streets,” Jang said at a late press conference on Sunday.
An SUV with at least two people inside was seen leaving the scene.
Shortly after, Surrey fire crews were called in to assist with a vehicle fire in an alley, about 17 miles from the airport. Several targeted shots ended in fires of similar vehicles.
Supt. Richmond RCMP Chief Will Ng said the shooting took place at around 3 p.m. on Sunday and that shortly thereafter one of their officers caught up with the suspicious vehicle.
Someone from the vehicle fired his gun as he was driving on a busy street, hitting the police car, Ng said.
The officer did not retaliate and stopped the pursuit, he said.
There has been a spate of shootings that have resulted in killings and injuries in Metro Vancouver in recent weeks, near shopping malls, restaurants and busy streets.
Jang said that a shooting in a public place was of great concern.
“We know all too well that bullets are not discriminatory,” he said.
“They could land on an unsuspecting person, a member of the public. Enough is enough.”
The murder of a prison correctional officer in the parking lot of a busy Delta, B.C. mall had all the hallmarks of a gang stricken, police said last week.
Ng said this new generation of gangers take things to another level and have no regard for the safety of the community.
“They’ll stop at nothing to target their rivals, even if it’s at an international airport in broad daylight on Mother’s Day, and put everyone in danger, including shooting a police officer, which shows me that these people have no worries.
Because the gangers are taking it to the next level, Ng said the police will do the same.
“The top-level strategies are a very intentional and strategic response, targeting those involved in the Lower Mainland gang conflict, and specifically targeting them with a collaborative approach with all of our law enforcement agencies, our partners,” did he declare.
Jang said it’s clear the message is not reaching these people.
“Please don’t kill yourself, stop the violence. Apparently this falls on deaf ears for some, and they keep hurting each other, they keep shooting their guns, putting us all in danger.
Jang said police were looking for dashcam video of those in the area between the airport and where the vehicle was found on fire on Sunday to help them with their investigation.
Delta’s police chief said last week that all police departments in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland were working on the shootings.
Neil Dubord acknowledged “the anxiety” surrounding the very public shootings, saying they showed a “shocking” disregard for public safety.
On Sunday evening, yellow markers of evidence dotted the area where the shooting took place. A large white screen remained in front of an entrance to the terminal, protecting the crime scene.
A red and yellow police tape surrounded the scene, both inside the terminal and outside where passengers would normally be dropped off to catch their flight.
The Vancouver Airport Authority said in a statement that the airport was open and safe for airport workers and those who need to travel.
“Our hearts go out to those affected by (Sunday’s) incident.”
He said the safety of his employees, the community and passengers remains his priority and that he is fully cooperating with the RCMP to support the investigation.
Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a statement on Twitter that the shooting was disturbing news.
“My thoughts are with the communities of the Lower Mainland that have been too often affected by gun and gang violence, especially over the past week,” said Blair.