RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

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 that has gripped British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, police say.

Sgt. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said the victim is known to police and the shooting needs to stop.

“I think we’re all tired of seeing the violence that is taking place on our streets,” Jang said during a late news conference Sunday.

An SUV with at least two people inside was seen leaving the scene.

A short time later, fire crews in Surrey were called to attend a vehicle fire in a back alley, about 28 kilometres from the airport. Several targeted shootings have ended with similar vehicle fires.

Richmond RCMP Chief Supt. Will Ng said the shooting took place about 3 p.m. on Sunday and shortly afterwards one of their officers caught up with the suspect vehicle.

Someone from the vehicle fired their weapon while driving down a busy street, hitting the police cruiser, Ng said.

The officer didn’t return fire and stopped the pursuit, he said.

READ MORE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

There’s been a string of shootings resulting in murders and injuries in Metro Vancouver over the last few weeks, taking place near shopping centres, restaurants and busy streets.

Jang said a shooting in a public place is a matter of great concern.

“We know all too well that bullets do not discriminate,” he said.

“They could land on an unsuspecting person, a member of the public. Enough is enough.”

The murder of a prison corrections officer in the parking lot of a busy Delta, B.C., shopping mall had all the hallmarks of a gang hit, police said last week.

READ MORE: Man killed in North Delta shooting identified as BC Corrections officer

Ng said this newest generation of gangers is taking things to another level and have no regard for community safety.

“They will stop at nothing to target rivals, even if it’s at an international airport in broad daylight on Mother’s Day, and putting everyone at risk, including shooting at a police officer, which indicates to me these people have no care whatsoever.”

Because gangers are taking it to the next level, Ng said police will do the same.

“Next level strategies are a very intentional and strategic response, targeting individuals involved in the Lower Mainland gang conflict, and specifically targeting them with a collaborative approach with all of our law enforcement agencies, partners,” he said.

Jang said it is clear that the message isn’t getting through to these people.

“Please don’t kill one another, stop the violence. Apparently it’s falling on deaf ears to some, and they continue to harm one another, they continue to shoot their guns, putting all of us in jeopardy.”

Jang said police are looking for dashcam video from those who were in the area Sunday between the airport and the location where the vehicle was found on fire to help with their investigation.

Delta’s police chief said last week that all police departments in B.C.’s Lower Mainland were working on the shootings.

Neil Dubord acknowledged the “anxiety” around the very public shootings, saying they showed a “shocking” disregard for public safety.

On Sunday evening, yellow evidence markers peppered the area where the shooting took place. A tall, white screen remained in front of an entrance to the terminal, shielding the crime scene.

Red and yellow police tape surrounded the scene, both inside the terminal and outside where passengers would normally be dropped off to catch their flights.

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 thoughts are with those impacted by (Sunday’s) incident.”

It said the safety and security of its employees, community and passengers remains its priority and it is fully co-operating with 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 in the Lower Mainland who have been impacted by gun and gang violence far too often, particularly over the last week,” Blair said.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CrimeRCMP

Just Posted

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Birtch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Dan Albas
COLUMN: Reopening the international border

Governments in Canada and the United States are working towards reopening plans for the border

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Most Read