Abbotsford Police at ‘heightened awareness’ following Kelowna shooting

The Abbotsford Police Department's gang suppression unit (GSU) is at a "heightened awareness" about criminal activity in the community following the Kelowna shooting that killed Jonathan Bacon, 30, and injured four others.

Kelowna RCMP have released this picture of a Ford Explorer they believe might have been involved in the targeted shooting in Kelowna on Sunday that killed Jonathan Bacon.

Kelowna RCMP have released this picture of a Ford Explorer they believe might have been involved in the targeted shooting in Kelowna on Sunday that killed Jonathan Bacon.

The Abbotsford Police Department’s gang suppression unit (GSU) is at a “heightened awareness” about criminal activity in the community following the Kelowna shooting that killed Jonathan Bacon, 30, and injured four others.

Sgt. Casey Vinet said the potential for retaliation is of concern in Abbotsford, and across the province, although there is no reason to believe this community is specifically at risk.

“Having said that, we are well aware that violence can occur anywhere, anytime,” he said.

Vinet said the APD has been speaking with its partner agencies, including the Lower Mainland’s Integrated Gang Task Force, on current gang activity and the movement of criminals.

None of the victims of Sunday’s shooting outside the Delta Grand Hotel currently resides in Abbotsford, but Bacon grew up in the community and lived here until moving to Port Moody in 2009. Police have not revealed where he had been living just prior to his death, but have said it was not in Abbotsford.

Also with Bacon in the targeted Porsche Cayenne were Larry Amero of the White Rock Hells Angels, and Independent Soldier James Riach, according to media reports. Amero is recovering in hospital, while Riach fled the scene.

Two unidentified women were also injured.

Vinet said he could not reveal any specifics about the current gang situation in Abbotsford, only that the same groups identified in the past continue to be active.

Higher profile drug arrests by the GSU in the last year have mainly consisted of members of the Duhre Group and the UN Gang.

Although police have not determined, or will not say, which group is responsible for Sunday’s shooting, speculation is high that either, or both, of those organizations could be behind the targeted hit.

Meanwhile, Darryl Plecas, a criminology expert at University of the Fraser Valley, predicts that retaliation will be not be as quick as most people believe, due to intense police scrutiny in the aftermath of the Kelowna shooting.

He also believes that “this outrageous display of violence” does not signal a return to the same level that occurred in the Lower Mainland in 2009, when gang shootings and murders were rampant.

Since then, police have improved their ability to gather information and head off potential issues before they occur. In Abbotsford, for example, the 14-member GSU formed in spring 2010. By the end of the year, the unit had compiled a list of 183 gang members and associates active in the community, and staged 36 “disruptions” of gang activities such as grow rips and abductions.

Plecas said the Kelowna shooting is not a sign that police are doing a poor job.

“They are making incredible inroads, but they’re still playing catch-up, if you will … They don’t have enough resources to be on top of every gang that’s out there, but that will happen.”

Police have said Bacon and his two brothers – Jamie, 26, and Jarrod, 28 – were associated with the Red Scorpion gang, which engaged in warfare on Lower Mainland streets with rival the UN Gang over control of the drug trade in 2008-09.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kelowna RCMP released a photo of the silver/green Ford Explorer that the shooter (or shooters) was suspected to be driving at the time of the hit.

Anyone who observed the vehicle during the weekend of Aug. 12-14 is asked to call the Kelowna detachment at 250-762-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-5477 with details.

VIOLENCE DOWN

Abbotsford was dubbed the “Murder capital of Canada” for the number of homicides that occurred in the city in 2008 and 2009, but police have said an increased focus on tackling gang violence is responsible for reducing those numbers.

There were six murders in Abbotsford in 2008 and 11 the following year, compared to four in 2010 and none so far this year.

Also down are the number of shootings and violent assaults. The latest Stats Canada figures, released last month, showed that Abbotsford had recorded a 26 per cent drop in violent crime from 2009 to 2010.

Although there have been no homicides this year, there have been four targeted shootings:

– Jan. 4, eight to 12 shots were fired at a home at 2504 Bradner Rd., narrowly missing a 25-year-old woman who had pulled into the driveway.

– Feb. 20, 10 shots were fired at a home on Hope Road, where a family with no criminal background lived. A man who police believe was affiliated with the Duhre Group was the intended target but lived in a different house on the same street.

– March 11, there was a drive-by shooting in a home in the 32900 block of Gatefield Avenue which was occupied by two young children and four adults.

– June 9, eight to 12 shots were fired at a home on Monteray Place which was owned by the parents of Shafa Aram, who served a four-year manslaughter sentence for a 2003 shooting death.

Just Posted

Satwinder Bains of Abbotsford is the recipient of the 2021 aculty Service Excellence Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (UFV photo)
Satwinder Bains receives UFV Faculty Service Excellence Award

Bains has guided South Asian Studies Institute as director since 2006

The City of Abbotsford has prepared a draft Urban Forest Strategy that is now headed to public consulation.
Draft plan adopted for managing Abbotsford’s urban forests over next 25 years

Urban Forest Strategy now heads to public-consultation process

Country music star Chris Lane stops in Abbotsford next February. (Submitted)
Country music star Chris Lane coming to Abbotsford

Multi-platinum artist bringing ‘Fill Them Boots’ to Abbotsford Centre on Feb. 19, 2022

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

The intersection of Blueridge Drive and Blue Jay Street is one of three intersections in Abbotsford approved for traffic lights this year. (Google Street View)
Traffic signals approved at 3 Abbotsford intersections

Projects part of $1.45M in road upgrades around community

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read