Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Torrent of Targeted Shootings New Gang War East of Vancouver: RCMP

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Torrent of Targeted Shootings New Gang War East of Vancouver: RCMP

Article excerpt

Gang war behind shootings in Surrey, B.C.: police

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SURREY, B.C. - The bullets fell from the sky.

Police say that's just one of several flippant explanations offered to authorities from those targeted in a callous spate of shootings that have been frightening residents east of Vancouver in the past five weeks.

Police in Surrey and Delta declared on Tuesday that two ethnic gangs warring for territory in low-level drug trafficking are responsible for the staccato of violence.

In a rare move, authorities have released the names and photos of victims in the shootings, asking for the public's help for the safety of residents and because they say no one is co-operating in their investigations.

Mounties have determined 11 of 19 shootings that have sent bullets into homes and vehicles are related to groups of South Asia and Somalian descent. No one has died.

"We believe these two groups are competing over turf and have chosen to jeopardize public safety in that process," said Chief Supt. Bill Fordy, with Surrey RCMP.

Police have arrested one person, Delta resident Arman Dhatt, 18, and charged him with 12 firearms and drug trafficking offences. They've also seized one suspect vehicle.

Fordy said in a statement to media that police are using overt and covert techniques to gather intelligence and evidence, and many tips have helped them to identify several previously unknown people related to the gangs.

But Fordy said the victims who have been questioned by police have only provided replies such as, "I will take care of it myself," and "Don't you worry about it. No need for you cops to be here."

He said the two sides are determined to settle their differences outside of the law.

"As you can imagine, this lack of co-operation has significantly impacted our ability to make any arrests," Fordy said.

The recent attacks began March 9, when a 20-year-old man was dropped off at a Surrey hospital suffering gunshot wounds. …

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