Three shootings in Whalley in as many days have left three victims injured, one critically so.
Surrey Mounties says they all appear to have been “targeted” but not related to one another. Police are “exploring” links to the drug trade.
“Having three shooting incidents in a short time span is concerning to both the police and the community,” Cpl. Vanessa Munn said. “Surrey RCMP, the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team and partners continue to work to interrupt and suppress violence associated to criminal activity and the illicit drug trade through both targeted enforcement and early intervention through education.”
The first shooting happened at 5:13 p.m. Saturday in the 13300 block of 95A Avenue. A 58-year-old woman was shot in a driveway and taken to hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening. “The shooting appears to be targeted, however the victim is not believed to be the intended target of the shooting,” Munn said.
The other two happened early Monday morning. The first was at 1:20 a.m., in the 10600 block of King George Boulevard. The victim, a 26-year-old man, sustained injuries that weren’t life-threatening. He was taken to hospital and has since been released.
Shortly after, a 45-year-old man was shot just before 3 a.m., inside a house in the 9600 block of 137 Street. His injuries were considered to be life-threatening, Munn said. He was rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Police are hunting for a suspect.
Cpl. Vanessa Munn said the victim in this particular shooting is “known to police.”
“No suspect has been identified at this time,” Munn said. “Our general investigation unit and serious crime unit are working to identify a suspect.”
Munn said there have been 48 shootings in Surrey so far this year.
Asked about reports that a vehicle was later found torched in Vancouver, Munn replied, “I don’t believe any vehicle, that that’s been confirmed at this point.”
Police ask anyone with dash-cam footage related to the shootings, or information about them, to call the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Crime Stoppers, incidentally, is launching a “Guns and Gangs” anonymous tips campaign that will feature ads on more than 100 billboards and bus shelters, as well as in print and on television.
Surrey city Coun. Linda Annis, who is also the executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, said a similar campaign a few years ago led to 145 arrests and the seizure of 219 illegal weapons.
“There’s 40, year to date, that have been gang-related,” Annis said of shootings in Metro Vancouver, “versus 20 last year, so the number’s up.”
This latest campaign is partly funded by the provincial Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“If you see something suspicious or know something about suspected gang activity or illegal guns you need to report it,” Annis told the Now-Leader. “We’re doing quite an extensive social media campaign,” she added. “We’re trying to cover all bases.”
The campaign’s visuals will include Kevlar vests. “We need tips, you shouldn’t need these, that’s kind-of the concept to it,” Annis explained.