Bullet fired at RCMP detachment in Surrey

CTV News

The plague of gun violence in Surrey has hit home for local Mounties.

The RCMP has confirmed someone opened fire at the Surrey detachment at 104 Avenue and 148 Street, but investigators are still working to determine when the shooting took place.

Mounties said city workers discovered a hole in an exterior window at the building Tuesday morning. It was initially believed to have been caused by a rock, possibly one that had been tossed from a lawn mower, but a bullet was later found lodged in the drywall behind the window.

No other details have been confirmed.

If the bullet was fired within the last three months, it will bring the tally of shootings in Surrey up to 32 for this year, which amounts to roughly one every three days.

Investigators blame the bulk of those on an ongoing drug-related conflict between two new groups.

Anyone with information on any shooting in the city is asked to contact Surrey RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

 

Surrey shootings: Mayor Linda Hepner ‘angry’ about recent violence

RCMP investigating 3 shootings in past 3 days linked to what police call a new drug conflict in the city

 

CBC News

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner expressed her frustration about gun violence that has seen 31 shootings in her city this year, with three in the past three days.

“I am so angry this that this is happening again in my city,” she told media on Tuesday. “To be dealing with this again is unacceptable.”

Surrey RCMP is investigating three shootings over the past three days — the latest in a residential area in the middle of the afternoon.

Police say they believe the violence is linked to a new drug conflict.

Young ‘punks’

“I want to call them punks,” said Hepner about some young, aggressive people she feels are holding her city hostage.

She said the vast majority of both the perpetrators and targets of the shootings have been young males of South Asian descent.

Hepner said that fact — along with the relatively young overall population of the city — makes Surrey especially vulnerable to gun violence, but that her city is not alone.

She defended her administration’s efforts to crack down on the violence after a similar spree hit Surrey last year. Hepner said there have been hundreds of arrests and charges brought forward since, breaking the back of the problem.

But “through the success of last year we have created a vacuum,” Hepner said.

Despite repeated questioning, the mayor was unable to offer assurance to residents that another cycle of violence won’t start up once the problem currently facing the city is brought under control.

Surrey RCMP Community Services Supt. Shawn Gill said a “strategic long term approach” to the violence is needed, one that involves multiple agencies, ranging from different police services to health agencies.

Gill said the spike in violence is recent and related to the drug trade.

But he also asked for the community’s patience with the RCMP. He said the force had been instrumental in bringing forward charges in other cases which resulted in widespread fear: the murder of Maple Batalia and the beating death of Julie Paskall.

In both those cases, Gill said police were ultimately able to get results.

Hepner said the city has put nearly 100 additional police officers on the street, and stepped up enforcement.

But she said she has also been speaking with the province’s Public Safety Minister with a view to toughening up enforcement.

She said there needs to be stiffer penalties for gunplay in city streets.

CTV news

April 5, 2016

Mounties are investigating after someone opened fire on the Surrey detachment.

The RCMP said city workers noticed a hole in an exterior window at the detachment building at 104 Avenue and 148 Street Tuesday morning.

It was initially believed to have been caused by a rock, possibly one that had been tossed from a lawn mower, but officers eventually discovered a bullet lodged in the drywall behind the window.

Mounties are still working to determine when the shooting happened

More gun violence in Surrey

The latest gun violence came Monday near 86th Avenue and 140th Street just before 2 p.m.

“Upon arrival, officers located evidence of shots being fired in the area and a male suffering from a gunshot wound. The male was taken to local hospital with what is believed to be non-life threatening injuries,” Cpl. Scotty Schmumann said in a news release.

‘We created a vacuum’ in Surrey drug market, mayor says about shooting spree

'We created a vacuum' in Surrey drug market, mayor says about shooting spree
Surrey’s top officer, Bill Fordy, and Mayor Linda Hepner took to the airwaves Tuesday to discuss the wave of gun violence playing out on the city’s streets.

SURREY, B.C. — The city’s relentless shooting spree continued this week, prompting leaders to speak out to a fearful community.

So far in 2016 there have been 31 shooting incidents on city streets. There have been three arrests related to the incidents.

On Tuesday morning, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner told CKNW the city has made “considerable progress” and that this year’s violence is different than last year’s, in which the city saw 52 shootings.

A handful of the incidents are believed to be connected to a new drug war different from last year’s dial-a-dope turf war. Police haven’t put a name to the two groups but characterized them as “low-level” players.

Hepner noted that since last year’s gunplay, the city has ordered 100 new Mounties, hired director of public safety strategies Dr. Terry Waterhouse and last year made 825 arrests.

But that created a void.

“All those individuals (from last year) were taken off the street and we created a vacuum,” said Hepner. “And that’s what we’re seeing now.”

The question has now become, “How will Surrey put an end to that cycle?”

Hepner said she spent her day Monday talking with the police chief, as well as her provincial and federal counterparts.

The “onerous” charge approval process needs to be simplified, according to Hepner.

“In my discussion with the minister of public safety (Tuesday), he spoke about taking a look at that — how we can lessen that … That is a big move and will certainly help the RCMP.”

Meanwhile, Surrey has “escalated” its youth-targeted programming, said Hepner, noting the gang-intervention “Wrap” program got new provincial dollars last year and that some of the new Surrey Mounties have allowed for a heavier school presence from RCMP.

“These programs are part of it but we also need community involvement,” she added.

Hepner said she’s confident police are making headway in the investigations, but remains concerned that an innocent person is going to get caught in the crossfire. Several of the shootings have happened in broad daylight.

‘WALL OF SILENCE’

The mayor had strong words for the families of the people involved in the shootings.

“If the well-being of the community isn’t enough to motivate you to action — which by the way it should be — but if it is not enough, then just think about your loved ones themselves because there is no fairy-tale ending to this story. This kind of lifestyle will only end in jail or a toe tag. A coffin. There are no other options. There is no pretty ending.”

Surrey’s top cop Bill Fordy, in an interview on PulseFM, said while the “wall of silence” from families of the suspects has broken down since last year, it still exists.

“There must be some issue related to pride or embarrassment that is culturally linked,” he noted, seeing as the vast majority of the suspects are young men from the South Asian communities.

The top cop wants to see “long-term, sustainable success” and said that will take prevention and intervention efforts.

“We really need to change the trajectory of these young men,” he remarked.

Fordy said RCMP are in discussion with the school district about its curriculum and how police can become more engaged with students.

The detachment is looking at introducing cops to elementary schools, he said, all in an effort to help young people be more comfortable with police and view officers as their “ally” instead of their “enemy.”

GROWTH A CHALLENGE

On CKNW, Surrey RCMP Supt. Shawn Gill said the city’s “exponential growth” is a “significant challenge.”

“We’ve probably got the largest youth population in the Lower Mainland. So that’s a challenge,” he noted.

Gill said prevention and education needs to start at home.

“I’m a father. I have a pretty good sense of when my kids are getting out of line when they’re 16 or 17. So long before the gunplay plays out on the streets, I think the conversation we’re having here today… we need that every day. That’s where we need the community engagement.”

Asked how long it takes to see a change in the cycle of violence, Gill replied “it varies” and urged the public to have patience.

“We asked for patience (during the Julie Paskall and Maple Batalia investigations) because there’s always public concerns with respect to how come the police aren’t moving fast enough,” acknowledged Gill. “In those times, when we were provided the patience, we delivered (convictions) … But it takes time.”

— With files from Tom Zytaruk

Surrey is up to 30 shootings in 2016 after two this weekend

By Kim Bolan

April 3, 2016

Surrey RCMP is confirming two more shootings this weekend, one leaving a man with serious injuries.

That makes 30 shootings so far this year, higher than the level in 2015.

The latest happened about 5:45 p.m. Sunday at the corner of 88th Avenue and 132 Street.

Two vehicles were at the intersection on a red light when the suspect vehicle opened fired on the victim vehicle.

“The suspect vehicle was last seen travelling south on  132 from 88 and the victim vehicle was last seen travelling north on 132 from 88,” S.Sgt. Dale Carr said in news release. “No injuries have been identified at the time of this release.  The suspect vehicle was described as an SUV and the victim vehicle as a car.”

He said Surrey RCMP serious crime investigators are continuing to obtain information from several witnesses that were at or near the intersection.

And the Lower Mainland District Forensic Identification Section attended the scene and were able to gather several pieces of evidence that could advance this investigation, he said.

He said there are “no arrests or suspects at this time, unknown at this time if linked to any other shooting in recent history.”

The earlier shooting happened Saturday in the 12200-block of 92 Avenue just before 8 p.m.

S.Sgt. Blair McColl said a man “suffering from injuries was transported to a  local hospital in serious condition. The injury is not life threatening.”

He said investigators determined that a vehicle was seen fleeing the scene shortly afterward the shooting.

“There is no suspect vehicle description available at this time,” McColl said.

Ex-soccer coach sentenced to 7 years for seeking sex with preteen

Kendra Mangione, BC.CTVNews.ca Writer

A former B.C. soccer coach has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to travelling to the U.S. to have sex with a preteen girl.

Kuldip “Kelly” Singh Mahal, 47, received the sentence in Seattle on Tuesday. He was also given 10 years of supervised release for a federal sex crime, a statement from attorney Annette Hayes said.

“This case should send a clear message to those trolling the internet to victimize children: you will be caught and pay with your freedom for such crimes,” Hayes said in the statement.

Police said Mahal had been corresponding with an undercover agent who he believed was a 12-year-old girl early last year.

The U.S. Justice Department said he had sent several sexually explicit messages and photos to the agent, and repeatedly asked for explicit photos in return. The pair also engaged in “lengthy sexualized chats” by text message, the department said.

He was arrested in February 2015 at a park in the Washington city of Burlington, where he expected to meet the preteen for sex, police said. A year later, Mahal entered a guilty plea after reaching an agreement with prosecutors.

At the time of his arrest, Mahal was a facilities manager for a Vancouver tech firm and a volunteer coach of an under-16 soccer team in Surrey. He was suspended by the Surrey United Soccer Club after the allegations

Shots fired calls lead to increased enforcement and significant drug seizure

The Surrey RCMP is continuing to increase its proactive enforcement and expand its investigational avenues to deal with the number of shots fired incidents that have occurred in the city this year, says  the Surrey RCMP .

“Since January 1, 2016, the Surrey RCMP has received 28 confirmed complaints relating to shots being fired, with a recent increase in March.” said Superintendent Shawn Gill on April 1st at the press conference.  ” While this year’s incidents are not believed to involve the individuals engaged in last year’s drug conflicts, the majority still involve those associated to the drug trade. Five of the 28 incidents are believed to be associated to a new drug-related conflict between two groups.”

To date, five injuries and one fatality have resulted from these incidents. Nine calls involved shots being fired into a residence or building, and two files resulted from a bullet casing being found but no reports of shots being fired. The majority are occurring in the evening between the hours of 9:00pm and 6:00am.

After making over 800 arrests and detentions last year, we disrupted those who were involved in the drug conflicts last year, says Superintendent Manny Mann, Investigative Services Officer. The investigations into the recent shootings are progressing well. We are making headway thanks to the cooperation of the public and the intelligence gleaned through our enforcement efforts.

Police officers from the Surrey RCMP and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC) are involved in overt enforcement action to proactively and strategically target individuals in the drug trade.

Superintendent Shawn Gill, Community Services Officer, leads the proactive enforcement for the detachment. We are attacking this situation now and we are attacking it aggressively, says Supt. Gill. With the intelligence we are receiving, our proactive enforcement teams are making it very difficult for these people to conduct their illegal business in our city.

Some success has been already realized, with 4 arrests and a significant drug seizure.

On March 16, 2016, Surrey officers were conducting proactive enforcement in Newton. They stopped a vehicle and the driver was found to be transporting a substantial quantity of illicit drugs including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and fake Oxycontin. This drug seizure is one of the largest in Surrey’s history and valued at over 4.5 million dollars. Pardip HAYER, 30 years old from Abbotsford, has been charged with four counts of trafficking in a substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The drug trade is constantly changing. The individuals change and the drugs change, but the problem remains the same – young people are being lured into this criminal lifestyle with illusions of money and power, but the reality is much different, says Supt. Gill. We have an issue that goes beyond police – it involves the entire community. It involves parents, schools, prevention programs, and community involvement. For our part, we are working day and night to suppress both the violence and drug trafficking in Surrey.

“We have observed an increase in street level violence over the past four weeks and are committed to bringing the persons responsible before the courts,” says Assistant Commissioner Bill Fordy, Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP.  “We continue to appeal to the public for information on those involved in the drug trade. Our priority remains the safety of our citizens.”

“I was in Surrey earlier this week, meeting with RCMP and visiting with recipients of Civil Forfeiture and Criminal Forfeiture proceeds who are working specifically on programs to keep vulnerable young people from gang involvement and protect victims of other forms of violence,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris.  “I am very impressed with the work being done by RCMP and integrated teams like CFSEU-BC – not just in targeting and arresting gangsters and making significant drug seizures, but also for the proactive community work they do through programs like SMART, End Gang Life and the Surrey Wrap Program which will continue to have positive impacts down the road.”

Since this press conference on April 1st, 2016,  the number of shootings have gone up from 28 to  31 shootings.  There is hardly a day that goes by without a news of another shooting.  Now these recent shootings has accelerated  to  public areas and in broad daylight.

Does the B.C. gov’t care more about casino cash than casino crime?

BY MICHAEL SMYTH, THE PROVINCE

B.C. government says 105 people with suspected ties to organized crime have been banned from casinos.

More than 100 people have been banned from B.C. casinos over suspected links to organized crime, according to the B.C. Lottery Corp.

It’s the first time, to my knowledge, that this number has been publicly confirmed and comes as the government is suing a Salmon Arm manin an alleged casino money-laundering case.

The government announced a crackdown on rampant money laundering in casinos five years ago, but now the government says money laundering is still happening.

It makes you wonder if the problem is even bigger than the government is willing to admit.

According to the government’s lawsuit, B.C. casinos paid out more than $2 million last year to Michael Mancini.

The government says Mancini was using the casinos to launder drug money. Mancini denies it and says he’s just a lucky guy who won a lot of slot-machine jackpots.

The police stumbled on to the case when they stopped Mancini for suspected drunk driving and found cash, casino cheques and crack cocaine in his car.

Solicitor General Mike Morris said Monday traffic cops make big busts all the time.

“Our traffic police, right across this province, are our front-line resources that uncover all kinds of criminal activity,” Morris said. “We need them out there to continue doing that.”

Fair enough, but how many more suspected money-laundering rackets would have been busted if the government hadn’t scrapped a specialized police unit seven years ago?

The government shut down the Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team in 2009. The specialized unit had a budget of just $1 million — a number that dwarfs the amount the government spends trying to lure gamblers into its casinos.

“Keep in mind the savings here,” NDP critic David Eby told the legislature. “One dollar saved in policing for every $30 the B.C. Lottery Corp. spends on advertising.”

But now the government is hinting that a renewed police crackdown on casino money laundering is coming.

“We are now in the process of finalizing a co-ordinated approach to this question,” said Finance Minister Mike de Jong, adding that a new anti-money-laundering strategy is being developed with the RCMP.

De Jong refused to say how much money will be spent on this new effort, or if the budget will match the one spent on the integrated police team the government shut down.

Whatever the amount, it won’t be enough to retroactively catch criminals who have been haunting B.C. casinos for years.

According to the B.C. Lottery Corp., 105 people have been banned from B.C. casinos over suspected ties to organized crime. With the amount of dirty money sloshing around out there, the number seems low.

The government, though, is making a killing on casino profits, making it reasonable to wonder whether the government cares more about casino cash than casino crime.

Mass-murder researchers consider April the beginning of ‘the killing season’

BY MICHAEL S. ROSENWALD, WASHINGTON POST

Mass-murder researchers and terrorism experts do not like turning their calendars to April. For them, it marks the beginning of what one calls “the killing season.”

Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City in April of 1995. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people at Columbine High School in April of 1999. SeungHui Cho killed 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech in April of 2007.

Waco. The Boston Marathon bombing.A mass stabbing in Pennsylvania.

Over the past two decades, April’s significance has become a source of concern for those who monitor hate groups and fascination for academics who study the seasonality of violence.

Aggravated assaults spike in summer – people are outside more and the heat agitates. Burglars take the winter off because people hibernate in their homes. But why would April, with its cheerful tulips and spring sunshine, trigger so much extreme violence?

“It’s a question we talk about all the time,” said Heidi Beirich, a domestic terrorism expert at the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of two groups that have issued April-related violence alerts. “It’s a really strange phenomenon. We sometimes refer to April as the beginning of killing season.”

One of the factors that makes April particularly significant to threat assessment professionals, researchers and others is the desire of killers to pay homage to Columbine, other violent anniversaries and even Hitler’s birthday (April 20) by acting on the same date.

April is a month that looms large in the calendar of many extremists in the United States

“April is a month that looms large in the calendar of many extremists in the United States, from racists and anti-Semites to anti-government groups,” the Anti-Defamation League has warned. “Because of these anniversaries, law enforcement officers, community leaders and school officials should be vigilant.”

Even the weather may contribute to April’s dangers, experts say. The beginning of warm temperatures can stir action among the depressed and socially isolated.

Some researchers question the concept of seasonality. They point out that April is certainly not the only month for carnage. Aaron Alexis killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in September. Adam Lanza killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December. Jared Lee Loughner killed six and wounded 11, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., in January.

“You might say, ‘Look, Kennedy was killed in November’ and now you look at all the bad things that happened in November and wonder why it’s so violent,” said David Phillips, a sociologist at the University of California at San Diego who has studied the timing of violence and suicide. “You have to be careful.”

But the 30 days of April reveal a particularly gruesome and sensational bunching of homicidal incidents, including some of the worst school shootings in history – not just in the United States, but in Germany, Brazil and Australia. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in April. So was Abraham Lincoln.

Obsessed with Hitler

Law enforcement officials hoping to disrupt violent plots have long kept an eye on April as a violence incubator, but there has been surprisingly little empirical study on the issue, perhaps because separating randomness and patterns in violent crime is tricky.

“Connecting these kinds of incidents to any one thing is very difficult,” said Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former senior FBI profiler.

A place to start, she said, is motive. Run-of-the-mill street violence is opportunistic and reactive. But terrorism, mass shootings, and other forms of sensational violence typically have political or personal motivations and significance. The killers in those instances are dangerously sentimental, seeking to honor previous evildoers or important moments in history.

April offers an abundance of historical kindling.

Hitler was born April 20, 1889. The Civil War ended April 9, 1865. Patriots’ Day, commemorating the first battles of the American Revolutionary War, is April 19. Those dates often coincide with contemporary episodes of mayhem.

On April 19 1993, the FBI stormed a compound in Waco, Tex., to capture David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians sect. Seventy-six people, including Koresh, were killed. Two years later, on the same day, Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

McVeigh was a Patriot movement supporter who despised the FBI’s actions in Waco, as did other extremists who revere the 19th.

“Tim, why did you go ahead with the bombing?” a psychiatrist asked during an examination.

McVeigh replied: “The date was too important to put off – the 19th.”

Patriots’ day. The anniversary of Waco.

The more attention you bring to a certain date, the more it can snowball

“Terrorists consider dates to be very important and symbolic,” said Adam Lankford, a University of Alabama professor who studies mass shooters and suicide bombers. “The more attention you bring to a certain date, the more it can snowball.”

It certainly did with Columbine. Harris and Klebold reportedly plotted their attack for April 19.

“Harris had mentioned carrying out an attack that was bigger than Oklahoma City,” said Peter Langman, a psychologist and writer of two books on school shootings who maintains a database of school shooters and their writings. “The choice of April 19 does not appear to have been random.”

But Harris was obsessed with Hitler.

I love their beliefs and who they were, what they did, and what they wanted

“Hitler and his head boys (expletive) up a few times and it cost them the war,” he wrote in his dairies, “but I love their beliefs and who they were, what they did, and what they wanted.”

So instead they attacked a day later, Hitler’s birthday.

Dozens of other incidents, both disrupted and successful, can be connected to the symbolic nature of April. Columbine is the most frequently cited inspiration of mass shooters, who often seek to time their attacks to the anniversary.

Two years ago, Alex Hribal, a student at Franklin Regional High School near Pittsburgh, wanted to honor the Columbine killers, but school wasn’t in session April 20. He struck on Eric Harris’ birthday – April 9 – and stabbed 20 people.

The fear of April anniversaries is so prevalent that warnings about the month are regularly issued. The Southern Poverty Law Center has sent out alerts about April 19, pointing to “feverish activity” because “it is the most significant date on the anti-government ‘Patriot’ movement’s calendar.” Last year, citing the “symbolism and significance of these dates,” the Anti-Defamation League issued a security bulletin for April, pointing to Hitler’s birthday, Patriots’ day, and the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon.

The Boston attack, on April 15, raises a knotty question not just about that incident but other high-profile ones in April: Was it symbolically tied to the month – or just happenstance?

The weather connection

There are no indications that the Tsarnaev brothers were particularly interested in April. They apparently wanted an event where tens of thousands of people would be outside, which generally is not the case during Boston winters. But that raises yet another question about April attacks: Is weather a factor?

Experts say yes, but not just because more potential victims are outside after the long winter. They point to data showing that suicides, often thought to occur mostly in the dreary, socially isolating winter months, actually spike in the spring, starting in April. There is debate about why, although the prevailing explanation is that the increase in sunlight improves mood and energy just enough for suicidal people to make plans and follow through.

“They can muster the energy to do something,” said Lankford, the Alabama professor.

The timing of the suicidal spike is important, experts say, because many mass shootings and other violent attacks are thought to be a form of suicide among the socially isolated. Harris and Klebold killed themselves. Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, killed himself. In April 2009, Jiverly Antares Wong killed himself after shooting 13 people at an immigration center in Upstate New York.

You have these people coming out of hibernation from the winter with all their anger peaked and ready to go

“You have these people coming out of hibernation from the winter with all their anger peaked and ready to go,” Lankford said, adding that their rage may build as they see people out having fun together in groups. “That highlights the discrepancies between those who are socially healthy and those who aren’t.”

Experts on school shootings think that spring’s relationship to suicidology could offer another explanation – besides Columbine – for why so many of those incidents happen after the winter. Langman’s research shows that 46 percent of school shootings end in suicides, with the deadliest events occurring in spring. There were eight school shootings in April last year, the most of any month, according to a database maintained by Everytown for Gun Safety.

Just getting toward the end of the year could also play a role, with stress at its highest and the school year winding down, decreasing the opportunity for an attack before summer break.

Marisa R. Randazzo, the former chief research psychologist at the Secret Service and now managing partner at SIGMA Threat Management Associates, said that requests from schools to help diffuse potentially violent situations spike in April.

“It can be one of the busiest times of the year,” she said.

Like other experts, she cautioned that there is no empirical data singling out April as being distinctly different from other months for school shootings or other forms of targeted violence.

The evidence is certainly anecdotal. But there are lot of anecdotes.

April even sank the Titanic.