“We haven’t seen gang violence like this in probably the last 10 years” – Vancouver Police Chief Constable Adam Palmer
VANCOUVER Police Chief Constable Adam Palmer told the media on Monday regarding the murder of 15-year-old Alfred Wong who was shot on January 13 as he and his family drove along East Broadway near Ontario Street: “I know the answer to that question as to who fired the bullet [that struck Wong], but I am not prepared to share that with you right now.”
He refused to disclose how many bullets struck Wong or how many shooters there were that night.
But he added: “We have a very good idea of what happened that night based on video evidence and witness statements.”
As reported earlier by The VOICE, after the exchange of fire on January 13, police located three injured people, including Wong.
Kevin Whiteside, 23, of Vancouver, who was targeted, was taken to hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries. He died on Monday afternoon. He was armed and had connections with gangs.
A man in his 30s, also a Vancouver resident, sustained minor injuries. He was treated at the scene and released. Police said they believed that he was not targeted.
At Monday’s press conference, Wong’s pastor and older brother read out statements praising him and thanking the police officers, hospital staff and others who did their best to treat Wong.
Palmer told the media: “Forensic investigators have now conducted an extensive forensic analysis of the scene, vehicles and various pieces of of evidence that we have recovered. We have spoken with many witnesses and have retrieved a significant amount of video.”
But he added: “Although we have made a lot of progress, we still have a long road ahead of us.”
He stressed: “We have good evidence, but we need more.” He urged anyone who had any piece of evidence, no matter how insignificant it may seem to them, to contact police at 604-717-2500.
At the press conference, Palmer added a lot of mystery to the incident by his responses to a series of questions by reporters.
Palmer pointed out to the media: “Prior to somebody being arrested, we would never tell you who the shooter was. We’re still working on the investigation and we do not have significant evidence to lay charges.”
When a reporter asked him if that meant police have identified a suspect, he said: “No, we haven’t.”
When asked if police knew who fired the bullet that struck Wong, Palmer said: “If you’re asking me whether it was Mr. Whiteside or another shooter, yes, I know the answer to that question.”
When the reporter asked Palmer if that meant he knew who was responsible for shooting Wong, he said: “No, we don’t.”
When a reporter asked Palmer if that meant that the shooter was someone other than Whiteside, he replied: “No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying I know the answer, but I am not telling you.”
PALMER told the media that the cycle of gang violence that Metro Vancouver was going through right now is “significant.”
He added: “We haven’t seen gang violence like this in probably the last 10 years.”
He said that the last big wave of violence was “when the whole Bacon brothers-Red Scorpions thing was happening.”
He stressed: “We are definitely in an uptick in violence in Metro Vancouver.”
When asked why this violence had flared up again, he replied: “We’ve got several gangs that are at odds with one another and they are going out killing each other.”
And it all revolves around drugs.
But he refused to name any gangs.