A 21-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with two Lower Mainland murders, including one in Abbotsford, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced Friday afternoon.
IHIT spokesperson Cpl. David Lee says Tyrel Hieu Nguyen Quesnelle was arrested Friday morning (Dec. 20) in Edmonton in relation to the killings of Jagvir Malhi, 19, in Abbotsford and Randeep Kang, 27, in Surrey.
Lee told reporters in Surrey that he cannot speak about how the two murders are connected. Lee said there are other people involved in the murders, and IHIT is encouraging anyone to come forward.
Malhi, 19, was the “unintended victim” of a shooting on Ross Road in Abbotsford on Nov. 12, 2018. He was airlifted from the scene, but died shortly afterward in hospital.
Earlier this month, IHIT released new details from the investigation, stating that a dark blue Acura TL was found on fire in Surrey in the area of 128A Street and 109th Avenue, less than an hour after the killing.
Police also said video surveillance footage from the area showed a white Mazda 3 driving in tandem with the Acura.
Investigators believe the occupants of the Acura set the vehicle on fire and then left the area in the white Mazda 3, IHIT previously said.
Following the shooting, IHIT stated that the killing was believed to be “gang-related,” although they didn’t specify the connection.
That prompted numerous people, including two friends who spoke directly to The Abbotsford News, to speak out – mostly through social media – about Malhi, saying he was not involved in gangs and was in fact a role model in the community.
Sgt. Frank Jang of IHIT said Malhi had no criminal history when he was shot on Nov. 12, 2018 while driving in the area of Ross and Simpson roads in Abbotsford.
Kang was killed just before 9 p.m. in the 11300 block of Alpen Place on Oct. 27, 2017. Two men were found with gunshot wounds, with Kang being pronounced dead at the scene and the other victim being taken to hospital.
Surrey RCMP said Kang was known to police and was “associated to gang activity.”
Investigators believe Kang’s murder was targeted and linked to other gang violence in the Lower Mainland.
Surrey RCMP said just after the shooting, they received a call about a dark-coloured SUV on fire on Wellington Drive, a short distance away from the shooting scene.
– With files from Vikki Hopes, Aaron Hinks