THERE were two incidents of shooting in Surrey on Sunday, one at about 3 a.m. in the 8300-block of 128th Street and the other at about 1:45 p.m. in the 12300-block of 71 A Avenue, which police said was targeted.
In the early morning incident, Surrey RCMP said they responded to a report of shots fired and located evidence that a shooting had occurred. No injuries were reported.
In the afternoon shooting, police said that they responded to a report of shots being heard in the area and found a male victim suffering from minor cuts from glass fragments resulting from gunshots fired at his vehicle from another vehicle.
The male was treated and released at the scene by an ambulance for minor glass cuts.
Initial investigation revealed that occupants of a dark-coloured vehicle fired several gunshots at the victim vehicle. Officers conducted neighbourhood canvassing and spoke with several witnesses to obtain further information.
Anyone with further information who has not already spoken to police is asked to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.solvecrime.ca.
SGT. Lindsey Houghton of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – BC told The VOICE that the number of shootings has dropped dramatically in the past month.
He said: “We continue to partner very aggressively with Surrey RCMP detachment in terms of our covert and overt techniques, so we can gather evidence, so we can hold people accountable. We continue to make seizures. We continue to do all the police stuff that people would expect us to and want us to do, but we also continue to knock on the doors of parents, we also continue to meet with community leaders.”
Houghton added: “That’s something we knew that we had to do before this happened. We’ve been doing it for the last couple of years now. It’s increasing our engagement in terms of trying to change the long-term behaviour of people. So it’s not just devoting more police officers and arresting our way out of an issue. It’s sitting down with families and having tea with them and talking about what their issues are and if they need resources, trying to get them help and getting them resources.”
He said police have met with some of the resistance like when they went to a house and the mother slammed the door in their face. “Those are things that we continue to face,” he added.
But Houghton said that “the South Asian community is one of the most engaged communities here in the Lower Mainland.” Police had a second summit meeting with community members in Chilliwack on Wednesday. He was all praise for the South Asian Community Coalition Against Youth Violence (SACCAYV), saying, “they are still unbelievably pro-active in bringing stakeholders and people together and bridging gaps in communities.” Houghton said that these kinds of things “are going to pay dividends in the near and in the long run.”
He also praised the work that RCMP Assistant Commissioner Dan Malo and the RCMP “are doing in the Lower Mainland level is expanding that model to bring together a very large diversity type committee together where you have leaders of all of the different communities, ethnic and otherwise, coming together to discuss some of these issues and problems to look for long-term solutions because these short term efforts that we have, while important, aren’t going to solve the long term issues.”