No further answers yet in murder of Harwin Baringh

The 18-year-old was fatally shot last Thursday night on Sparrow Drive in Abbotsford

Harwin Baringh

Harwin Baringh

The only sign of the violence that occurred in a busy Abbotsford neighbourhood last Thursday night is a small collection of burning candles at the side of the road.

They mark the location on Sparrow Drive in west Abbotsford where 18-year-old Harwindip (Harwin) Baringh was shot to death while in an SUV west of Goldfinch Street at about 7:45 p.m.

Baringh was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of the vehicle which sat on the street in the 30500 block.

Investigators blocked off a large portion of the neighbourhood with yellow crime tape for more than 24 hours after the murder as they combed the scene for shell casings and other evidence that might lead them to the person or people responsible for the shooting.

The evidence includes neighbours’ reports of hearing and/or seeing one or two vehicles speeding away from the scene: a newer white Acura TL and a dark-coloured sedan.

Mourners came to the site on Saturday night for a candlelight vigil in memory of the 2014 graduate of W. J. Mouat Secondary, and the neighbourhood has since returned to its normal routines.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has not released any new information on the murder, including whether it is linked to a conflict that has been occurring in that area of Abbotsford since May.

Police first reported in early July that there had been more than 25 incidents since May 11 involving two groups of South Asian men ages 15 to 25, and this had resulted in thousands of dollars in property damage.

At the time, police said they were concerned that the dispute, which wasn’t related to drugs or gangs, could escalate into serious physical injury.

Police reported in mid-August that they had installed security cameras on two streets to monitor activities related to the ongoing dispute, which they called the “Townline Hill conflict.” Those cameras are located not far from the scene of Baringh’s death.

The community has remained quiet about the murder, and little has been uncovered about Baringh.

He was a member of Mouat Secondary’s wrestling team for a short time, including when they clinched first place in the Port Alberni Invitational Tournament in February 2013. Individually, Baringh place fifth in the juvenile boys category at that event.

“Rest in peace” messages have been posted on some of this friends’ Facebook and Twitter pages.

“Even tho your gone we’re still a team. Rest in paradise big bro,” said one message.

“I’m just staring (at) our last text conversation and wishing you could laugh with me one more time. R.I.P. bro,” said another.

This is Abbotsford’s second confirmed murder of the year. Matt Campbell, identified as having ties to the Red Scorpions gang, died Jan. 2 after staggering into a business at the Fraser Valley Automall with a severe neck wound.

Police later confirmed that he had been stabbed, and Jimi Sandhu, 24, was charged a month later with second-degree murder. A trial date in the case has not yet been set.

Another incident – a hit-and-run on McKenzie Road that killed Dwayne McCormick, 41, on July 11 – is still being investigated by IHIT to determine whether it was a deliberate act.

Mario Richard Delellis was initially charged with aggravated assault and dangerous driving, but those charges were dropped and IHIT took over the file when McCormick died in hospital two days later. New charges have not yet been laid.

Anyone with information about Baringh’s murder is asked to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

(Photo below: Candles mark the scene in the 30500 block of Sparrow Drive where Harwin Baringh, 18, was fatally shot on Thursday night. Goldfinch Street is at the bottom of the hill.)