Police say shooting has ‘all the earmarks’ of Townline Hill conflict

Man, 23, suffered gunshot wounds in incident early Saturday morning in Abbotsford

A Cadillac Escalade crashed into the front yard of a home at Blue Jay Street and Cardinal Avenue on Saturday after the drive suffered gunshot wounds.

A Cadillac Escalade crashed into the front yard of a home at Blue Jay Street and Cardinal Avenue on Saturday after the drive suffered gunshot wounds.

Police have not definitively connected a shooting on Saturday to the ongoing Townline Hill gang conflict, but Abbotsford Police spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald said it has “all the earmarks.”

The incident took place at about 2 a.m. MacDonald said a 23-year-old Abbotsford man was driving north on Livingstone Avenue, which turns into Blue Jay Street just past Maclure Road, when he was shot at somewhere along the route.

The man, who was driving a Cadillac Escalade, then veered into a power pole and crashed into the front yard of a home at the corner of Blue Jay Street and Cardinal Avenue.

Emergency crews arrived on the scene, and the man was taken to hospital, where he remains in serious condition as he recovers from gunshot wounds.

MacDonald said police believe the man was the sole occupant of the vehicle. He said more than a dozen rounds were fired, and the vehicle was hit “multiple times.”

Several bullet holes could be seen in the windshield of the Escalade before it was towed from the scene.

At this time, police do not have a description of the assailant(s) or of the vehicle they were in at the time of the shooting.

MacDonald said police will be combing through surveillance video obtained from nearby homes and businesses to look for any evidence that will aid in the investigation.

He said the victim has so far not been co-operative in providing information.

The area of the shooting is in the portion of west Abbotsford that has seen several drive-by shootings and assaults that police have dubbed the “Townline Hill conflict.”

The conflict is named for Townline Road and adjacent neighbourhoods in which two groups of young men – primarily of South Asian descent – are battling for drug turf.

MacDonald said this latest shooting fits the pattern of other incidents, as it took place in the same general area and involved a young man who is known to police.

Three killings have so far been linked to the Townline Hill conflict – the October 2014 drive-by fatal shooting of 18-year-old Harwin Baringh on Sparrow Drive; the September 2015 death of innocent man Ping Shun Ao, 74, who was struck by a stray bullet which had been intended for his neighbour on Promontory Court; and the March 2016 shooting of a 22-year-old man while he was outside a home on Hawthorne Avenue.

MacDonald said the gang issues in west Abbotsford continue to be a top priority for police.

“We’re well aware of the fact that this conflict has not gone away … Our concerted effort at suppressing (criminal activity) is continuing,” he said.

Anyone with information about the latest shooting is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. They can also text abbypd (222973).