VIDEO UPDATE: Homicide victim had Red Scorpion gang ties
The man killed Thursday in Abbotsford's first homicide of the year has been identified as Matthew Gordon Campbell, 31, known to have ties to the Red Scorpion gang.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) confirmed Friday morning that Campell was the victim of the attack that took place before 3:45 p.m. Thursday.
He had sustained severe neck wounds, which IHIT said appeared to be stab injuries, and was taken to hospital, where he died.
IHIT spokesman Sgt. Adam Macintosh said Campbell was known to police for his criminal gang-related history, and the fatal assault is believed to be targeted.
Macintosh said IHIT investigators are working closely with the Abbotsford Police Department (APD), the provincial Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and the Provincial Intelligence Centre.
"We remain in the early stages and are working hard to find out what occurred and the person or persons responsible for this crime," he said.
APD Const. Ian MacDonald said police, fire and ambulance were called to Automall Drive – the location of the Fraser Valley Auto Mall off Mt. Lehman Road in west Abbotsford – after a man in his 30s walked into a business around 3:45 p.m. with a wound to his neck.
Few details have been released, and MacDonald said investigators are still trying to piece together much of the crime.
These questions include whether the victim was wounded in the auto mall or elsewhere, whether he was in a vehicle at the time, and who was involved in the attack.
MacDonald said video footage that investigators are reviewing from many of the businesses in the auto mall could answer some of those questions.
Campbell, an Abbotsford resident, was a close friend of the Bacon brothers and was among 10 people charged in 2006 after police broke up a gun trafficking ring that sold handguns, rifles and machine guns to drug dealers across the country.
Police seized more than 100 guns during a series of raids, and approximately one-third of them had been located in Abbotsford.
Campbell, who was described as a "facilitator" in the ring, was sentenced in January 2008 to two years in prison.
He allegedly took over leadership of the Red Scorpions following the arrests of two of the Bacon brothers – Jarrod and Jamie – and the murder in August 2011 of Jonathan.
At the time charges were announced last February, police described the series of retaliation homicides over an 18-month period as a "cascade of violence" which began with the fatal shooting of Gurmit Dhak in October 2010 in a parking lot at Burnaby's Metrotown shopping centre.
Following the death of Jonathan Bacon, several other high-profile gangsters have been killed or targeted.
Last June in Abbotsford, 25-year-old Harpreet Chahal – an associate of Jujhar Khun-Khun, one of the three charged with the Bacon murder – was killed in a drive-by shooting on South Fraser Way. No one has yet been charged with his death.
Anyone with information on Thursday's homicide is asked to call the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or email email@example.com.