WHEN five bullets slammed into the residence of a South Asian family in the 31400 block of Blueridge Drive in Abbotsford around 3:15 a.m. on Saturday (July 18), it apparently did not surprise the police because they had had “some interactions” in the past with a young man who lives there.
But what did surprise them was the attitude of that young man.
Abbotsford Police Constable Ian MacDonald told The VOICE this week: “[He] was not cooperative and didn’t appreciate police even being there. Despite the family home being shot at, he basically was telling us to get lost, which is not the reaction that you would expect from somebody whose home has been apparently been shot at and whose family was placed at risk.”
MacDonald added: “It just shows you where this young man’s head is at – that the first thing he sees as being wrong is not the bullet holes in the house; it’s that the police are there. He was almost acting like it was none of our business.”
He pointed out: “The neighbours are scared … and we don’t know whether somebody’s been hurt and he just didn’t even want us there.”
Officers who attended the scene on Saturday located a number of shell casings on the roadway. APD Major Crime Detectives and Forensic Identification Officers also joined the investigation.
THE VOICE has been reporting on a feud between two groups of young South Asians in Abbotsford since July of last year and police told us back then that this conflict that started in May (2014) was not gang-related as such and involved some 20 youths on either side.
Last October, the feud claimed a life. Harwindip Singh Baringh, 18, was killed in a shootout in the 30500 block of Sparrow Drive in West Abbotsford on October 2.
While neither Abbotsford Police nor the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) disclosed any details, last January the media revealed that a civil suit filed by the Director of B.C. Civil Forfeiture in B.C. Supreme Court last December to claim two vehicles that were allegedly used in that shootout was the result of a clash between the so-called Chahil and Dhaliwal crime groups. IHIT has so far not announced any charges in the murder case.
Last December, when I asked MacDonald if the ongoing conflict was getting worse, he replied: “When I had one of our crime analysts go through it, we actually have fewer incidents after July than we did before July – but I would suggest the severity of those incidents has increased.”
He pointed out that people had gone from doing burnouts on people’s lawns and damaging a vehicle with a bat to setting two vehicles on fire last October. Fortunately, the houses didn’t catch fire.
But things have quietened down since then and Abbotsford is not experiencing that level of problems that Surrey, for example, is facing.
MACDONALD told The VOICE this week: “We have the occasional flare-up. This [last Saturday’s shooting incident] is probably been the most serious that we’ve had in several weeks. So we are obviously concerned about it, but somewhat relieved that this is not a regular occurrence.”
He added: “These things happen from time to time and it’s regrettable obviously, and we are doing everything we can to suppress it. We are doing everything we can to deal with the folks that are involved. But at the end of the day you can’t control them, so that’s why we do see these sporadic flare-ups.”
Anyone with information should contact the APD at 604-859-5225, text us at 222973 (abbypd) or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.