VANCOUVER Police have identified the city’s 12th homicide victim of 2018 as 28-year-old Vancouver resident, Matthew Alexander Navas-Rivas.
Just before 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the victim and his friend were walking their dogs near Cambridge Street and Nanaimo Street when a suspect approached Navas-Rivas and shot him. The suspect fled in a waiting vehicle.
Vancouver Police received several 9-1-1 calls reporting shots fired. Officers located the victim suffering from gunshot wounds. He was rushed to hospital and died a short time later.
His friend was not physically injured.
Investigators believe this was a targeted shooting and there is no further risk to the general public.
Detectives would like to speak with anyone with dash-cam footage who was driving in the area of Nanaimo Street and Cambridge on Wednesday between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Anyone who may have information about this incident, and has not yet spoken with police, is asked to contact homicide detectives at 604-717-2500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
According to media reports, Navas-Rivas (who was the brother of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s former foster son Jinagh Farrouch Navas-Rivas) went to jail in 2009 for assault causing bodily harm and unlawful confinement. While on probation in 2010, he took part in a violent home invasion in Vancouver that terrified a family, including two children. In 2013, he was convicted and sentenced to three years and three months in jail on top of 33 months’ credit received for pretrial custody. He was also banned from owning or possessing firearms for 10 years.
In January 2012, Navas-Rivas was under surveillance in connection to a series of thefts that occurred in downtown Richmond between December 31, 2011, and January 26, 2012. The RCMP pulled over a car he was driving and he and another man were ordered to stay inside the vehicle. However, they came out of the vehicle with their arms raised. Both lay down on the ground when told to do so. But an RCMP officer went over to the men and put a knee to Navas-Riva’s lower back, grabbed his hair and pushed his head into the asphalt, according to court records. The officer received a suspended sentence, six months probation and was ordered to do community service.
Earlier this year, the Vancouver Police Department announced that Navas-Rivas was arrested in relation to Project Tactic, a VPD project that began last summer. Crown Counsel had approved 39 firearms-related charges against him. “Navas-Rivas is facing the same 39 charges as co-accused Derek Stephens, who was arrested in November . This matter is now before the courts and subject to a publication ban. There are no additional details available at this time,” according to the VPD press release. Media reports said Stephens was an associate of the Independent Soldiers gang.