BY RATTAN MALL
LAST Saturday (August 4) the ongoing Townline Hill conflict between two groups of South Asians fighting over drug turf claimed yet another casualty: 19-year-old Gagandeep Singh Dhaliwal.
Dhaliwal became the tenth South Asian to be murdered in the Lower Mainland this year.
Of the 10 victims, one died while trying to break up a fight outside a Vancouver night club.
The death of four others remains somewhat mysterious (though the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team and Vancouver Police must surely by now have some kind of idea about the reason behind their murders).
Five others were reportedly involved in some way with gang activity in the Lower Mainland.
No arrests have been made in any of the nine cases so far.
GAGANDEEP SINGH DHALIWAL, 19
Killed: August 4
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced on Sunday afternoon that Saturday night’s homicide victim in Abbotsford was 19-year-old Gagandeep Singh Dhaliwal.
Dhaliwal was known to police and investigators believe this was a targeted incident. IHIT said it is working to determine the motive behind Dhaliwal’s murder.
“We are releasing Mr. Dhaliwal’s name in an effort to determine his activities and who he may have had contact with prior to his death,” said Cpl. Frank Jang. “We urge anyone with information to please come forward.”
The VOICE had reported online (voiceonline.com) earlier on Sunday that the victim was South Asian and the shooting was believed to be linked to the Townline Hill conflict.
On August 4, at approximately 11:30 p.m., the Abbotsford Police received a report of a shooting at a residence in the 2000-block of Wilerose Street. When police arrived, they found Dhaliwal and another male with gunshot wounds. Both victims were taken to hospital. Dhaliwal succumbed to his injuries in hospital and the second victim is expected to recover from his injuries. IHIT was called in to take conduct of the investigation.
Dhaliwal was known to the local police, but did not have a criminal record.
Police said that it was too early to say if the shooting was gang-related or drug-related or a personal conflict with somebody.
CTV reported that neighbours said they heard multiple gunshots followed by commotion outside the home. Two witnesses said they saw a man jumping over a fence. Another witness said: “I heard three shots and I heard screaming and the about five seconds later, I heard some car just peel out down the street. I came out running and there was people all over the street down there screaming and yelling.”
Global BC reported that Dhaliwal was shot in his garage in Abbotsford. A family friend said that Dhaliwal had got home that night with his family after a wedding reception and was in the garage with his cousin when suddenly someone came over and started shooting them.
IHIT said it is working closely with its partners from the Abbotsford Police Department, the Abbotsford Forensic Identification Services and the B.C. Coroners Service to gather evidence.
Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448), or by email at email@example.com.
Should you wish to remain anonymous, contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
The other nine South Asians killed this year:
Sachdeep Dhoot, 18, of Surrey: Last seen on January 9, body found in Vancouver on January 18
* January 19:
Lovepreet Singh Dhaliwal (Jason), 24, of Abbotsford
* January 27:
Kalwinder Thind, 23, of Richmond who died outside a downtown Vancouver nightclub while trying to break up a fight
* February 15:
Kaminder Rai, 32, of Surrey, who was killed in Vancouver
* March 9:
Pardip Brar, 23, of Delta, who was killed in Surrey
* April 26:
Amin Vinepal, 24, of Delta, whose body was found in Surrey
* June 4:
Jaskarn Singh Jhutty (Jason), 16, and Jaskaran Singh Bhangal (Jesse), 17, both of Surrey
Sukhpreet Grewal, 32, of Abbotsford, whose body was found on July 20
SANDEEP DHOOT, 18
Killed: Between January 9 and 18
Vancouver Police on January 19 confirmed that the body found in a parked vehicle on Fairmont Street near Vanness Avenue in East Vancouver the day before was that of Sachdeep Dhoot, 18, who was last seen in the Newton area of Surrey on January 9.
Police were called to the area just after 3 p.m. on January 18 to investigate the discovery of a stolen vehicle. Officers found Dhoot’s body in the trunk of the vehicle.
Police said that based on the information collected so far, this does not appear to be a random murder.
Surrey RCMP had earlier in the week updated their missing person press release by stating that Dhoot was associated to a 4-door blue 2004 Pontiac Sunfire had license plate FE9-84R (see stock photo).
LOVEPREET SINGH DHALIWAL (JASON), 24
Killed: January 19
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team identified January 19 homicide victim as 24-year-old Lovepreet Singh Dhaliwal (Jason) of Abbotsford in order to further their investigation.
Police said it was still early in the investigation but investigators believed Dhaliwal’s murder was targeted.
IHIT later said at a press conference that Dhaliwal was trying to leave a criminal lifestyle.
On January 19, at 6:30 p.m., the Abbotsford Police Department received multiple calls of shots fired in the area of Ridgeview Drive and Promontory Court. Police arrived on scene to find a man with gunshot wounds. The victim was pronounced dead at scene and IHIT was called in.
A black Acura TL (see stock photograph) was identified leaving the scene immediately after the shooting. A vehicle matching that description was later found burnt in Langley in the 22300-block of 61st Avenue. Investigators say they would like to speak with anyone that has information regarding this vehicle.
IHIT said it was working closely with its partners from the Abbotsford Police Department and the B.C. Coroner’s Service to gather evidence.
IHIT Cpl. Frank Jang said: “There are people who knew Mr. Dhaliwal that may have information that could help us solve his murder. I urge these individuals to come forward and speak with IHIT.”
Incidentally, two years ago, on September 2, 2015, innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao, 74, was killed after what police believe was a targeted shooting in his neighbour’s driveway in the same area of 3500-block of Promontory Court in Abbotsford where Friday’s homicide occurred. Police said at the time that the targeted persons are “well known to police.” They were South Asian, as The VOICE reported back then.
KALWINDER THIND, 23
Killed: January 27
The death of Kalwinder Thind, 23, of Richmond was a real tragedy. He died on January 27 after he was stabbed while trying to break up a fight just outside the Cabana Club at 1159 Granville Street. The fight broke out inside the Cabana Club just before 2:30 a.m., and then spilled onto the street. Thind died in hospital.
Vancouver Police investigators determined that the fight involved two separate groups from inside the Cabana Lounge. Tension between the two groups had been brewing throughout the evening and eventually led to the fight outside.
“The evidence suggests that several people have photos and recordings of the events before, during and after this incident. They have uploaded edited footage to various social media sites but have yet to come forward to police,” said Sgt. Jason Robillard. “It’s important for our detectives to see the unedited footage – it could be crucial to the investigation.”
Investigators were working on identifying the people in the two groups and were asking individuals from both groups to call police. “This incident appears to be an isolated fight, fueled by alcohol, that got out of hand,” said Robillard. “We need to talk to the people involved as soon as possible.”
Criminal charges have not yet been laid. Five people were originally arrested and have since been released pending further investigation.
Thind had been a sales consultant at Richmond Chrysler. Family members and friends held a candlelight vigil on January 31 on the sidewalk outside the club to pay tributes to the young man who was hailed as a hero.
They expressed their love for him and held a minute’s silence to show their respect. The crowd kept getting bigger despite the rain and the cold weather and police had to block off Granville Street to traffic.
One speaker noted how excited Kalwinder was as he was going to leave for India on Monday (January 29) with his dad for the first time in his life.
Thind’s former boss at sales at Richmond Chrysler, Danny Mouro, told The VOICE: “He was obviously a really good guy, fun-loving, always joking, kidding, big smile, full of life. I worked with him for a little over a year.”
He pointed out that in sales they look for a person with a great personality and someone who’d get along well with people and be outgoing. “He was definitely all those things,” Mouro said.
“He came to work with a big smile all the time … His presence was always known when he was at work. The minute he walked in the door you knew … He could be loud: “HEY!” … just a fun person to be around. … But he also knew when it was time to work,” Mouro added.
Mouro praised him as a hardworking person, noting: “He was working with us six days a week and still worked one night a week at Bar None.”
He said Thind was a strong man who worked out. He pointed out: “Obviously to be a doorman you have to be kind of a strong guy and you have to be able to take charge.”
According to some news reports, Thind wrote in a blog under the name “Kris Thind” when he was a business student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University that he was considering being a police officer, realtor or builder.
KAMINDER RAI, 32
Killed: February 15
Vancouver Police identified the victim of February’s homicide on Vancouver’s West Side as 32-year-old Kaminder Rai of Surrey.
Rai, who was listed as a real estate consultant with Planet Group Realty Inc., used to advertise in South Asian newspapers.
Just before 1 p.m. on February 15, Vancouver Police received a report of shots fired in the area of Marguerite Street and West 49th Avenue in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood. Officers arrived and found a man on the street suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was rushed to hospital in critical condition and died hours later.
Police later towed away a black Hummer SUV.
Based on the initial investigation, police have determined that the shooting was not random. No arrests have been made.
Constable Jason Doucette said: “We’re continuing to work with our partners throughout the region to solve these crimes and prevent future violence.”
PRADIP BRAR, 23
Killed: March 9
Pardip Brar, 23, of Delta became yet another victim on March 9 in the ongoing low-level drug turf conflict in the Lower Mainland. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, to further their ongoing homicide investigation, announced his name.
On March 9, at approximately 7 p.m., the Surrey RCMP received reports of shots fired in the 6700-block of 137A Street. When officers arrived, they found a man outside on the street with gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead. IHIT was called in.
IHIT worked closely with its partners from the Surrey RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Services and the B.C. Coroner’s Service to gather evidence.
A white sport utility vehicle (SUV) and a black sedan were seen leaving the area after the shooting. IHIT said it would like to speak with anyone that had information about these two vehicles.
Brar was known to police and investigators believe his murder was targeted and linked to other gang violence in the Lower Mainland.
IHIT Cpl. Frank Jang said: “I urge those with information about Mr. Brar’s murder to come forward and speak with IHIT.”
In March 2015, Brar was one of five young South Asian males from Surrey and Delta who were named by then Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge, Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, as being allegedly involved in four related shootings in Surrey at the time. The other four were Indervir Johal, Amrit Kular, Sameh Mohammed and Pardeep Singh, all of Surrey.
The RCMP displayed photos of four of them – the photo that was missing was that of Pardeep Singh: he was shot dead in the driveway of a home on August 29, 2017.
Back then, Fordy said: “The four related shootings involve people who are involved in low level drug crime. From the intelligence that has been gathered so far, there is nothing to indicate that these incidents are tied to organized gangs. However, these people are clearly violent and have shown a complete disregard for public safety.”
In May 2015, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC), Surrey RCMP and Delta Police announced that Brar was one of five individuals who had been arrested and / or charged as they continued to take a collaborative approach on the disruption and dismantling of the groups believed to be involved in the shootings that had occurred in Surrey and Delta. He was facing 12 charges at the time.
Now, almost three years later, Brar had been shot dead.
AMIN VINEPAL, 24
Killed: April 26
The body of Amin Vinepal, 24, of Delta, was found on April 26 on the roadside in the 17800-block of 12th Avenue in Surrey.
Vinepal was known to police and was associated to gang activity. Investigators believe Vinepal’s murder was targeted and linked to other gang violence in the Lower Mainland.
On April 26, just after 3:30 p.m., the Surrey RCMP received a report of a dead male at that location. The victim had injuries consistent with homicide.
Soon after the discovery of the body, Surrey RCMP received a call of a vehicle (no further description) on fire in the 18700-block of 28th Avenue. Investigators believed this vehicle may have been related to the homicide and anyone with information about it was asked to contact the police.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) took conduct of the investigation and was working closely with its partners from the Surrey RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Services and the B.C. Coroners Service to gather evidence.
IHIT said it was releasing Vinepal’s name in an effort to determine his activities and who he may have had contact with prior to his death.
“There are people who have information about what happened to Mr. Vinepal,” said Cpl. Frank Jang of IHIT. “I urge anyone with information to please come forward and speak with IHIT so that we can hold those responsible to account.”
JASKARN SINGH JHUTTY (JASON), 16, AND JASKARAN SINGH BHANGAL (JESSE), 17
Killed: June 4
On June 4, just after 10:30 p.m., the Surrey RCMP received a report of two bodies found in the area of 192nd Street and 40th Avenue. When officers arrived, they found two unresponsive males lying on the roadside with gunshot wounds. The victims were declared dead at the scene and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team took conduct of the investigation.
Earlier on Monday, at 9:46 p.m., the Surrey RCMP was alerted to a burning vehicle in the area of 184th Street and 29A Avenue.
IHIT said they would like to speak with anyone that has information about this vehicle.
At 11 p.m., the Surrey RCMP received a call of a second burning vehicle in the area of 177th Street and 93rd Avenue. Investigators said they had determined that this burnt vehicle was a Honda Accord and wanted to speak with anyone that had information about it.
Investigators said they believed this was a targeted incident.
On June 5, IHIT announced that the victims of the double homicide in Surrey were 16-year-old Jaskarn Singh Jhutty (Jason) and 17-year-old Jaskaran Singh Bhangal (Jesse), both residents of Surrey.
IHIT said they were revealing the names to further the ongoing investigation and to determine their activities leading up to the homicides.
The two, who were students of Frank Hurt Secondary School, were not known to police. The VOICE wrote back then that at that stage it was inappropriate to link their deaths to drug dealing as some had. “We should wait for the police to announce any further development. However, there have been unconfirmed rumours in the community that the two victims were forced into a vehicle and driven away,” this newspaper wrote.
The anger at the death of the two kids led to a massive “Wake Up Surrey” rally on June 14 that was attended by thousands of angry South Asians and others outside the Surrey City Hall, demanding action from the authorities at all levels to wake up and do something about the failure to control gang violence in the Lower Mainland.
SUKHPREET GREWAL, 32
Body found: July 20
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team on July 20 announced that the body found by police inside a home in the 3100-block of Consort Court in Abbotsford was that of Sukhpreet Grewal, 32, who was known to police.
Police said that although they believed the murder was targeted, it was too early to tell if it was gang-related.
IHIT Cpl. Frank Jang told media that the victim’s family filed a missing persons report on Friday (July 20) at 12:40 p.m. When police arrived at his residence to check on his well-being, they found him dead inside the home. His death was deemed a homicide and IHIT was called in to take conduct of the investigation.
A neighbour told media that a dog had been left outside the residence for some days and he barked every night, which was quite unusual.
Grewal was charged with assault and uttering threats last December. He failed to appear in court last June in Abbotsford Provincial Court and an arrest warrant was issued for him on July 16.
IHIT said it was working closely with its partners from the Abbotsford Police Department, the APD Forensic Identification Section and the B.C. Coroners Service to gather evidence.
Frank said: “We believe there are those who knew Mr. Grewal that may have information that could help us solve his murder. We need anyone with information to contact IHIT immediately.”