‘With a bang-bang here and a bang-bang there! Here a bang! There a bang! Everywhere a bang-bang!’
(With apologies to the composer of the children’s song)
BY RATTAN MALL
A spate of shootings in several jurisdictions in the Lower Mainland in just the past few days has police very concerned that some innocent person or persons may get injured or killed once again.
With four shootings over five days – three of them just on Tuesday – in Surrey, residents and businesses are pretty nervy.
On Wednesday, the Surrey Board of Trade urged the provincial government “to work with local officials to strategically deal with prolific offenders” and warned that “the recent shootings pose a significant challenge to the reputation and progress of our city.”
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann told The VOICE on Wednesday: “Of course, there is a concern – there’d be a concern if we only had one shooting – because these are all occurring in populated areas and communities where our homes are. So there is always a potential for someone to get caught in the crossfire.”
Asked if police were contemplating any special measures to deal with this situation, Schumann replied: “We haven’t changed the way that we are doing business and certainly we’re already involved in some overt enforcement opportunities with CFSEU (Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit) and our own gang enforcement team, but we are also continuing obviously to engage youth.” He called engagement with youth “a big deal” that sort of addresses “more the long-term solution.”
Regarding the shootings in various jurisdictions, Schumann noted: “But something that may not have happened 20 years ago is, everybody is talking to one another and trying to address these issues together. We are always sharing intelligence between jurisdictions. That really helps us a lot.”
It seems that all we can do at this stage is to keep our fingers – and toes – crossed!
THE latest series of shootings began last Friday (August 4) when three residences in the 6800-block of 196th Street in the Clayton area were struck by bullets.
But police only learned of it the following day when they received a report that a residence had been damaged by gunfire.
And when they went to investigate it, they found damage to three houses and recovered weapons, explosives, and precursors to drug production. However, no one was injured in the incident.
Surrey RCMP General Investigations Unit (GIU) along with the Surrey RCMP Drug Unit and the BC RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit (EDU) handled the case.
Police did a careful and methodical examination of the buildings, canvassed the neighbourhood for witnesses. But no suspects were identified.
ALL seemed quiet for a couple of days – the proverbial calm before the storm – and then on Tuesday, the floodgates of bullets opened up, so to speak.
The first shooting occurred in the Clayton area again around noon. Surrey RCMP were called to the 7000-block of 180th Street for a report of shots fired. Police located a vehicle and a garage door that had been struck by bullets. The vehicle was occupied at the time, however, no injuries were reported. The suspect was on a motorcycle that fled the area prior to police arrival.
Surrey RCMP’s General Investigation Unit (GIU) along with the Lower Mainland Integrated Forensic Identification Service surveyed the scene and a neighbourhood canvass was conducted to locate any potential witnesses or surveillance video. Police believe this was a targeted incident.
A second shooting in the Clayton area occurred at about 7:10 p.m. the same day, when Surrey RCMP received a report of shots fired in the 19200-block of 72nd Avenue. The initial investigation revealed that one vehicle was shooting at a second vehicle. However, no one was injured.
Police said that initial indications were that this is a targeted incident.
BUT even as the news of the two shootings were being reported in the 11 p.m. TV broadcasts on Global and CBC, CTV reported about yet another shooting in its 11:30 p.m. broadcast.
The shooting occurred in the Fraser Heights area of Surrey.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., Surrey RCMP responded to a report of shots fired in the 15900-block of 89A Avenue. A male suffering from non-life threatening injuries was transported to hospital.
The initial investigation revealed that one vehicle was shot at. Initial indications were that this was a targeted incident.
Anyone with more information about any of these cases is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502. If they wish to remain anonymous, they should contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.