A man killed Friday night in a targeted hit in North Vancouver was previously identified as the leader of a gang embroiled in a drug war in Abbotsford.
Gavinder (Gavin) Grewal, 30, was found dead in an apartment in the 1500 block of Fern Street just before 8:30 p.m.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) was deployed to the scene and soon confirmed that Grewal was the victim.
Cpl. Frank Jang of IHIT said Grewal’s death is believed to be linked to other gang violence in the Lower Mainland.
Grewal is well-known to police, particularly in Abbotsford.
He and two others – Sandeep Sidhu and Jimi Sandhu – were the subject of a public warning from the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) in March 2015.
At that time, the APD warned that the men were part of an ongoing gang battle in the area – then known as the Townline Hill conflict – and were immersed in a “criminal lifestyle that includes violence, drugs and weapons.”
Police warned that the trio posed a risk of “significant harm to the safety of the community and anyone who may associate with them.”
Grewal was identified by Police Chief Bob Rich, in an interview with the Abbotsford News in September 2015, as the leader of one of two gangs battling for drug territory in Abbotsford. Sidhu and Sandhu were identified by Rich as the leaders of the other gang.
Police later said the Townline Hill conflict was part of a bigger problem throughout the region and have since referred to it as the Lower Mainland gang conflict.
Grewal was also one of two men charged in June 2016 with the 2010 shooting death of Mandy Johnson of Langley.
Johnson, 22, was shot and killed while sitting in the passenger seat of a Chevy Tahoe on July 28, 2010 at about 3 a.m. in the 31100 block of Polar Avenue, just west of Townline Road in Abbotsford. Her body was found lying on the ground next to the Tahoe.
Her boyfriend Gater Browne – believed to be the actual target – was shot at but no bullets struck him and he was able to flee the scene.
Police at the time said they believed the incident was linked to the street-level drug trade.
Grewal was charged with manslaughter in relation to Johnson’s death, while co-accused Jason Himpfen was charged with second-degree murder.
Both men were also charged with the attempted murder of Browne. The pair were scheduled to go to trial starting on Jan. 15 in New Westminster.
IHIT is asking for anyone with information about Grewal to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448), email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Crime Stoppers at 1-880-222-TIPS.