BY RATTAN MALL
ABBOTSFORD Police on Thursday announced that they have installed video surveillance equipment on Sandpiper Drive after shooting incidents on August 6 and 17 in an effort to improve public safety in that area.
Constable Ian MacDonald said: “We will continue our increased patrol presence in the neighbourhood, but we rely on the citizens of Abbotsford to report suspicious activity immediately to us when it is observed. In addition, we are requesting that homeowners with security cameras and equipment ensure that these systems are in operating order. Video evidence has been an integral component of many of our investigations.”
Ian MacDonald told The VOICE on Tuesday that their lead investigative theory is that Monday’s (August 17) shooting and that of August 6 is all part of the ongoing conflict between two South Asian groups that started back in May of 2014. Both incidents occurred on Sandpiper Drive just two blocks from each other.
MacDonald couldn’t say if the targets in the two incidents had been members of different groups or the same group. He pointed to some difficulties that investigators confront in trying to identify which group some of the young men belong to, noting: “We can say we know the core of each of the two groups. It gets more murky when you start getting into the people on the periphery.”
He added: “Although we are a growing city, in some ways and in some circles we are still a small town.” So you have people who might have been on the same wrestling team and might even be cousins, ending up on opposite sides of the conflict, he explained.
ON Monday at 8:35 p.m., Abbotsford Police received calls reporting shots fired in the 30700-block of Sandpiper Drive. Officers searched the area and located shell casings on the roadway, but no evidence of vehicles or homes in the area being struck.
Police contacted regional hospitals to find out if anyone landed up there for medical assistance. One hospital confirmed that a 23-year-old male had just arrived with a gunshot wound to his leg. He received treatment for non-life threatening injuries. Investigators believe he was the victim of a shooting that involved at least one vehicle.
MacDonald told The VOICE that the victim was well-known to police, particularly Abbotsford Police. He is well-know to police, particularly the Abbotsford Police. He added: “Almost all of his negative contacts have been with Abbotsford Police, but he has lived intermittently in Abbotsford and neighbouring jurisdictions. He’s not from that specific neighbourhood [where he was shot].”
APD Forensic Identification Officers and Major Crime Unit detectives joined the investigation which continued through the night.
JUST 11 days earlier, on August 6, at 7:40 p.m., shots were fired in the 30500-block of Sandpiper Drive. Officers found that a vehicle in the driveway of a residence had been struck with multiple bullets. Fortunately, no one was injured.
MacDonald told The VOICE that police are not getting any cooperation from the victims or their family members.
He pointed out: “Even though the vehicle in the [August 6] case was shot up in the driveway of a family home … we can understand the young man not necessarily wanting to talk to police, but it was almost a united front with the whole family not wanting to talk to us.”
POLICE are still seeking information relating to the two shooting incidents. Anyone with information should contact the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225, text them at 222973 (abbypd) or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.