Members of the Abbotsford Police Department’s gang suppression unit are among officers that are part of an “investigative alliance” to address potential retaliatory violence following the shooting death of Jonathan Bacon last month in Kelowna.
Kelowna RCMP and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit’s (CFSEU) gang task force (GTF) have formed the alliance with GTF members from Abbotsford, Surrey and Vancouver.
Supt. Tom McCluskie, who heads the CFSEU gang task force, said 65 officers have been assigned to address the tensions arising from the targeted shooting in Kelowna.
He said it’s not a question of if, but when, retaliation will occur, and it could happen anywhere in B.C.
He said the officers are working around the clock to identify, and target, those that may be involved in any retaliatory violence. Several key people and groups have been identified at the core of the conflict.
“We are not slowing down and these gang members have to know that the streets of B.C. are not theirs and our officers will make that message very, very clear to them.”
Bacon, who was associated with the Red Scorpions, was killed Aug. 14 when the vehicle he was in was shot at while leaving the Delta Grand Hotel in Kelowna. Four others, including two linked to the Hells Angels and the Independent Soldiers, were injured.
McCluskie said police know there are people who have information that would prevent further violence, and they are asking them to come forward. Information can be relayed to the gang task force through local police agencies (call 604-859-5225 in Abbotsford) or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.