Francois Joseph Gauthier, 51, charged in Harpreet Singh Dhaliwal’s homicide

CHARGES were approved on Saturday, April 24 by BC Prosecution Service following a Vancouver Police investigation into a homicide in Coal Harbour last weekend.

Police responded to calls of shots fired outside Cardero’s restaurant near Coal Harbour Quay and Cardero Street around 8:30 p.m. on April 17.  Harpreet Singh Dhaliwal, 31, was pronounced dead on scene after first responders were unsuccessful in reviving him.

Harpreet Dhaliwal’s body lies under a tarp. Screengrabs

Francois Joseph Gauthier, 51, has been charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of possess a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm without being the holder of authorization or a license under which he may possess the firearm.

Gauthier remains in custody until his next court appearance on April 29 at 9 a.m. in Vancouver Provincial Court.

The handgun apparently used by the killer.

Dhaliwal was reportedly linked to the Brothers Keepers gang. 

“We continue to believe this incident was a targeted killing and that Dhaliwal was the intended victim,” Sgt. Steve Addison said on Monday. “While we don’t think there is an immediate risk to the public, it is always shocking and unnerving when gun violence takes place in such a busy, public place.

TV news footage on Saturday night showed a handgun lying on the ground at the scene of the shooting. There was also a distraught man who was prevented by officers from entering the crime scene. A media report later claimed that he was the victim’s brother, Barinder Dhaliwal, and that another brother, Meninder, was also in the area at the time.

A man believed to be Dhaliwal’s brother is prevented by police from entering the crime scene.

Also, Vancouver Police earlier this week said there was no evidence that a stabbing at West Hastings and Broughton near the shooting scene 15 minutes later was connected to Dhaliwal’s murder. The stabbing victim was in serious condition.

But on Saturday they did not comment on that incident.

According to The Abbotsford News’ Vikki Hopes, Harpreet (Harb) Dhaliwal’s brother, Barinder (Brian) “Shrek” Dhaliwal, was the suspected target of a drive-by shooting in 2011 at a home on Bradner Road and was an associate of the Bacon brothers. In 2011, Jarrod Bacon alleged in wiretap evidence presented at his drug-conspiracy trial that Brian could front the $3 million in cash for cocaine.

In September 2012, there was another drive-by shooting in which a man got shot in the arm. Following that incident, police installed video surveillance cameras on Bradner Road near the home.

Brian was shot in July 2013 on Downes Road and went to a hospital with a gunshot wound.

In 2016, he was charged with four weapons offences and pleaded guilty to one in 2018. He was sentenced to a one-year prison term.

Harpreet was the victim of shootings in 2017 in Abbotsford and in December 2018 at Lansdowne Mall in Richmond.

Another brother, Meninder, survuved a shooting in March 2019 in Richmond.