The victim of Monday’s fatal shooting on Steelhead Court in Abbotsford has no criminal record but he is known to police and his death is believed to be linked to other gang violence in the Lower Mainland, investigators say.
Cpl. Meghan Foster of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said the killing of Satkar Sidhu, 23, is believed to be targeted.
“This homicide was a brazen shooting that occurred in a quiet residential neighbourhood, and fortunately no one else was hurt,” Foster said.
“Having association to or involvement with the gang life comes with many risks. There are people who have information about what happened, and they need to step forward.”
Foster also said that three men arrested shortly after the shooting have been released from custody and are not facing any charges.
“It is still early in the investigation, and investigators are trying to determine what involvement, if any, the three males had in the homicide,” she said.
Police were called at 9:40 a.m. Monday to a home in the 30500 block of Steelhead Court in west Abbotsford.
Officers who attended located Sidhu, who was suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
About 20 family members and friends gathered in the area, where investigators informed them of the death just before 10:30 a.m.
Many of them wailed and shouted in the street.
“I can’t live without him, man!” one young man yelled.
Immediately after the shooting, an Abbotsford Police officer saw a suspect vehicle fleeing the area at a “high rate of speed” and followed the car.
Attempts to pull over the vehicle failed, and the pursuit continued into Mission, where RCMP deployed a spike belt.
Three men were taken into custody.
The shooting occurred in the Townline Hill area of Abbotsford, which has been the location of several prior shootings and deaths.
Police say that about 40 young men in Abbotsford are involved in a conflict over drug turf, which extends into the entire Lower Mainland.
Last fall, Police Chief Bob Rich said five murders – in and outside of Abbotsford – can be connected to what was then referred to as the “Townline Hill conflict.”
Since then, and prior to Monday’s killing, two other murder victims were identified as having links to the conflict. Navdeep Sidhu, 24, and Harman Mangat, 22, were killed by gunfire Jan. 11 in Edmonton.
Abbotsford Police Sgt. Judy Bird said yesterday that police are continuing to target the gang issue with a variety of strategies, including increased patrols, surveillance cameras in problem areas, liaising with police agencies in other communities, and making regular contact with families and known gangsters.
“We agree that this is a frightening situation and that the mentality of the people involved is brazen,” she said.
Bird said “hundreds of man hours” have gone into addressing the issue and trying to prevent incidents from occurring.
“Even though people don’t always see what we’re doing, this issue is a concern we deal with every day,” she said.
Bird encouraged local citizens to immediately call police on the non-emergency line (604-859-5225) when they spot suspicious activity in their neighbourhood.
Meanwhile, anyone with information about Monday’s shooting is asked to call the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4449 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.