Suspects in 20 Surrey/Delta shootings refuse to cooperate with police

Statement from Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge

I would like to provide an update on the recent shootings that have been occurring in Surrey and Delta. I know our citizens and business owners are very concerned and I want to provide them with information on our progress.

Since March 9th, Surrey has had 16 shootings and Delta has had 3. Together with Delta Police, we have determined that 11 of the 19 shootings are related to two groups who are involved in low-level drug trafficking. The two groups are of South Asian and Somalian descent. We believe these two groups are competing over turf and have chosen to jeopardize public safety in that process.

This type of violence is completely unacceptable. Since the very first shooting, the Surrey RCMP has been working diligently with our law enforcement partners in Delta, the RCMP Lower Mainland District and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

Over the past five weeks we have used numerous tactics, including overt and covert enforcement initiatives and community engagement, to gather intelligence and evidence on those we believe are involved in these targeted shootings.

We have reached out to elders and leaders in both the Somali and Sikh communities. We also have two police officers who are involved in a Sikh youth leadership pilot program at our local temples. In addition, we have spoken to many of the family members of those involved in these shootings.

As a result of information shared at the press conference we held on March 12th:

• We have received many tips directly to our office and via Crime Stoppers that have allowed us to identify several previously unknown persons associated to both groups.
• We have identified and recovered one of the vehicles suspected to have been used in one of the shootings;
• We have made one arrest. Delta resident Arman Dhatt was arrested Friday and has been charged with 12 firearms and drug trafficking offences. Our investigative efforts are continuing in regards to his possible involvement in the shootings.

However, the victims and intended victims of these shootings have been uncooperative with police. Upon questioning, these young men have said things such as:
• “The bullets fell from the sky.”
• “I will take care of it myself.”
• “Don’t you worry about it… No need for you cops to be here.”
• One of the victims also told investigators that he knew who the shooters were and the motive behind the shooting but did not wish to tell police.
As you can imagine, this lack of cooperation has significantly impacted our ability to make any arrests.

While both the victims and suspects in these cases are determined to settle their differences outside the law, we are determined to stop the violence. We are disappointed with the lack of cooperation from the victims and we know the community is frustrated as well.

Today, I again appeal to the family, friends and those of you who know any of the people pictured here. We need information on their whereabouts, their connections, and their activities. Any information could benefit the investigations and help prevent somebody else being shot.

Since our March 12th press conference, our investigators have identified 8 additional males who have been victims or intended victims in these shootings and have not been forthcoming with information on the incidents that threatened their lives. To further our investigative efforts we are releasing their identities as follows:
1. Adam LAKATOS (Surrey resident)
2. Derrick BEQUETTE (Surrey resident)
3. Chadanjot GILL (Surrey resident)
4. Shakiel BASRA (Delta resident)
5. Sukhpreet PANSAL (Delta resident)
6. Sukhraj CHAHAL (Surrey resident)
7. Tirath TAGGAR (Surrey resident)
8. Charandeep TIWANA (Surrey resident)
We also continue to seek additional information about the 5 individuals we presented to you on March 12th:
1. Sameh MOHAMMED (Surrey resident)
2. Pardip BRAR (Delta resident)
3. Amrit KULAR (Surrey resident)
4. Indervir JOHAL (Surrey resident)
5. Pardeep SINGH (Surrey resident)
We are asking anyone with information on any of the shootings or on the activities of any of these 13 people to contact the Surrey RCMP, Delta Police, or Crime Stoppers if you wish to remain anonymous.

To the citizens of Surrey and Delta, I assure you that our work on these egregious acts continues every day, 24/7. Thank you for your trust, and for your assistance.

Statement from A/Chief Lyle Beaudoin, Delta Police
“Delta Police is committed to ‎the ongoing safety and security of our community. While Delta Police believe that the incidents occurring in Delta are targeted against specific individuals, the brazen nature of the shootings in residential and other public locations where members of the community should feel safe is hugely concerning and our utmost priority.

“Delta Police continue to vigorously investigate these shootings in an attempt to locate and prosecute those responsible. Our dedicated investigative teams are in regular contact with our partner agencies including the Surrey RCMP, IHIT, the Combined Special Enforcement Unit and the Real Time Intelligence Centre.”