Police released this image in 2015, showing a suspect in the back seat of a Chrysler Sebring aiming a pellet gun out an open window.

Man found not guilty in rash of pellet-gun attacks

Incidents took place across Abbotsford in July 2015

An Abbotsford man who was on trial for 14 offences related to a series of pellet-gun attacks in 2015 has been acquitted of all charges.

Judge Edna Ritchie said Thursday morning in Abbotsford provincial court that she could not find Harpreet Vaid, 23, guilty of any of the offences beyond a reasonable doubt.

“It is probable that Mr. Vaid was involved in the offences but I do not think it is safe to convict Mr. Vaid on the evidence I’ve heard,” she said.

Ritchie said although the evidence presented at trial clearly showed Vaid’s vehicle was used in the attacks, it had not been proved that he was in the car at the time.

Nine people were injured in the incidents, which occurred in Abbotsford on July 26 and 27, 2015.

The random attacks occurred across Abbotsford, with people shot while walking down the street.

“Luckily, no one was shot in the head area, which could well have resulted in blindness or hearing loss,” Ritchie said.

She said the evidence indicated that more than one person was in the vehicle during some of the incidents.

None of the victims were able to definitively identify Vaid as the shooter.

Ritchie said witness descriptions and video evidence led police to determining that a dark-coloured 2006 Chrysler Sebring was used in the attacks, and that the vehicle was owned by Vaid.

She said the car was located by police at a dealership in Surrey, where Vaid had traded it in on July 30, 2015 – after police had issued a photo of the suspect vehicle.

Ritchie said police also confirmed at the time that the car’s taillights and tire rims had been spray-painted.

A search of the vehicle turned up hundreds of BBs and pellets.

Vaid was arrested soon after, and charges were laid in September 2015: seven counts of assault with a weapon and seven counts of discharging a firearm with intent to wound.

Ritchie said the circumstantial evidence presented by Crown included testimony from a neighbour, who heard “popping sounds” on July 27, 2015 and looked outside to see Vaid holding a “gun-shaped object” in his hand.

She said some victims also indicated they had seen a pit bull in the suspect vehicle and, although Vaid did indeed own such a dog, there was no definitive proof that it was his in the car at the time of the shootings.

Ritchie described the attacks as “cowardly” and “senseless.”

“I hope that whoever was involved in these offences has matured enough to realize in hindsight how pathetic their actions were,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Submissions accepted for Anonymous Art Show

Online exhibit hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council in November

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Mission Mayor Pam Alexis to run for the NDP

Will take on Liberal Simon Gibson in the Abbotsford-Mission riding

VIDEO: Mounties looking to catch Chilliwack bike-riding teen groper

Man caught on video slapping the backside of girl near CSS riding a bicycle

Missing Chilliwack woman last seen on Wednesday

Friends and family concerned for Joy-Lynn Leon, 42, who was last seen Sept. 23 on Mary Street

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

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

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

Most Read