Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Two teenage boys have been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the Aug. 16 stabbing death of Paul Prestbakmo in a South Surrey parking lot.

READ MORE: 45-year-old ID’ed as victim of South Surrey stabbing

Integrated Homicide Investigation Team officials announced the charges – against a 15- and 16-year-old – at a press conference this afternoon (Thursday) at the Surrey RCMP detachment.

Both teens have been in custody since Aug. 22, for breaching court-imposed conditions on a separate matter, IHIT spokesman Sgt. Frank Jang told media.

At the press conference, Jang said the murder – which police describe as an unprovoked attack – was not related to gang violence. He described the age of the two charged as “troubling.”

“It’s shocking. Fortunately, we don’t hear about young people charged with these kinds of offences every day. But certainly when you hear about that, especially in our community, it’s very shocking,” Jang said.

Jang said police believe Prestbakmo and the two youths knew each other “to some degree,” as Prestbakmo was a well-known member of the South Surrey and Semiahmoo First Nation community. He said police do not believe that it was a stranger-on-stranger attack.

“Paul Prestbakmo, 45 years old, worked as a mechanic…” Jang said. “My understanding is that he was, in those early hours, taking out the garbage and went for a smoke. Then, he was subsequently murdered. It’s a tragic case.”

Due to their age, Jang said there is little information police can share about the two accused.

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Elenore Sturko said RCMP has increased its presence in the South Surrey area to “help restore the community’s feelings of safety.”

She, along with Jang, credited the development in the case to witnesses who came forward following an appeal by police and Prestbakmo’s family.

READ MORE: ‘Do the right thing,’ implores sister of South Surrey stabbing victim

“Coming and bringing information to investigators can not only help solve a crime today, but can prevent one tomorrow,” Sturko said.

Prestbakmo, 45, died in a parking lot at the southwest corner of 18 Avenue and 152 Street. Police flooded the area after receiving reports of a man found bleeding just before 3:30 a.m. Officers found Prestbakmo “unresponsive with serious injuries.”

In a statement released Thursday, Jang said the charges would not have been possible without the “tireless efforts” of IHIT investigators “to secure and compile evidence for charge approval.”

“A violent incident like this has significant impacts on both the victim’s family and the surrounding community, as their sense of safety is upended,” Sturko added in a news release.

“It is our sincere hope that the quick conclusion to this investigation will bring a measure of comfort to both Mr. Prestbakmo’s family and to the South Surrey community.”



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

Paul Prestbakmo died early Aug. 16, following an early-morning stabbing in South Surrey. (Facebook photo)

Just Posted

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Abbotsford wrestlers earn gold at Miri Piri Championship

W.J. Mouat Hawks take home top team prize, many locals reach podium

Westbound Highway 1 roll-over crash slowing commuters in Abbotsford

Accident occurred just west of Mt. Lehman Road, left lane blocked

World-renowned violinist to perform at Abbotsford prison

Gidon Kremer’s concert on Jan. 29 is part of Looking at the Stars’ program

Man charged with killing woman in Kamloops motel room claims he ‘blacked out’

Debra Novacluse of Abbotsford was found beaten to death in a room at a Kamloops motel in 2016.

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Deer carcass strung up at Surrey fire hall prompts investigation

Investigation underway following complaint a Surrey firefighter hung a deer carcass in a fire hall

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Most Read