With one man shot dead and another still clinging to life, police say Surrey’s latest homicide Thursday night was likely part of the ongoing settling accounts between rival gangs following the murder of Gurmit Singh Dhak in October of 2010.
“I think it is fair to say that it is a settling of beefs related to the murder of Gurmit Dhak last year,” said Sgt. Bill Whalen spokesman for B.C.’s Combined Special Forces Enforcement Unit, which targets organized crime in the province.
“[The] Dhak-Duhre group is in conflict with the Bacon brothers . . . and this is just another iteration of that,” Whalen said.
In this latest gang-related shooting, two men in their late 20s were fired on while outside a residence in Surrey in the 13900-block 56th Ave. just after 11 p.m., in Panorama Ridge.
One was declared dead at hospital and the other injured. He under went surgery in local hospital and was reportedly in critical condition.
The wounded man remained alive as of Saturday afternoon, according to police.
The Province has learned the deceased was a low-level Dhak-Duhre group member named Sean Beaver.
The second man shot Thursday is reportedly related to another Dhak-Duhre member killed by a balaclava-wearing gunman Oct. 22 at a strip mall in central Surrey.
Police are not confirming the names of the victims due to the risk of reprisal.
“We know that one guy is still in the hospital, so . . . we don’t want to identify him to the shooters,” RCMP Sgt. Jennifer Pound of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said Saturday.
“We’ve gone out there and told people we’re protecting the general public and we’re protecting the staff at the hospital.”
The shooting comes just days after well-known Surrey gang member Sandip (Dip) Duhre, 36, was gunned down execution-style at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver Tuesday night.
He and his two brothers, associates of deceased gangster Bindy Johal, were known to be involved in the Fraser Valley drug trade and allied with the Dhak group.
They have been feuding with rival gangs, including members of the Bacon brothers’ Red Scorpions.
Gurmit Singh Dhak was gunned down at Metrotown in the fall of 2010 and his associate Jujhar Khun-Khun critically injured. There was another attempt on Khun-Khun’s life in Surrey in September 2011.
Dhak’s younger brother Sukhveer also has a history of gang involvement. Since October he’s been in custody pending trial on 2008 trafficking and conspiracy charges.
Jonathan Bacon was shot and killed — and three associates, including a Hells Angel and Independent Soldiers member, were injured — in a targeted hit in Kelowna in August.
In September 2011, the Gang Task Force issued a public warning that anyone connected with the Dhaks or the Duhres, who were trying to extend their territory, were at risk of violence and retaliation.
When asked if Thursday’s shooting was related to the attack in Kelowna, Sgt. Whalen said, “it’s a possibility. That possibility is being investigated.”
Whalen tried to address public fears.
“Anytime you get two shootings in two days, it’s a concern, absolutely. And we understand the public is concerned. But these things are cyclical. We’ll go a couple of months without anything and then get two or three in a row.”
RCMP Sgt. Jennifer Pound of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said at least one of the two men involved in Thursday’s targeted hit was known to police, “but we can’t get into the specifics.”
Both are believed to be from Surrey.
Pound announced late Friday that police had notified their families but would not yet release their names.
Pound said she could not confirm if the shooting was related to or in retaliation for Duhre’s killing.
“Those are all questions we are looking to answer ourselves,” she said.
A Panorama Ridge homeowner, who spoke on condition he not be named for fear of retribution, said he was at home having a drink when he heard nine shots ring out. He ran to the door and was able to see a man run from the scene and get into a waiting SUV, driven by another individual, and speed away.
The neighbour said the darkness and falling snow prevented him from getting a description of the man.
He called 911 just after 11 p.m. and shortly thereafter half-a dozen police responded to the large acreage property at 13924 56th Ave.
As the neighbour watched, police ran on to the wooded property toward the house, which is set back from the road.
“They had their guns drawn, all converging on the property,” he said. “There was a bunch of yelling and screaming.”
Police pulled one of the victims away from a vehicle by the house with its lights on, and dragged him to paramedics, then did the same with a second man.
The lavish oceanview property, which was set on four acres and included an indoor swimming pool, had been sold by its long-term owners to foreign owners in August for $3.5 million. The home is now registered to Hua Deng.
Shortly thereafter, tenants moved in, the neighbour said. There were no previous problems at the house, and no party on site that night.
“All well-off neighbourhoods have their problems, no matter where you live, they’ve got this in West Vancouver and Shaughnessy,” he said.
Ranj Dhaliwal, a childhood friend of Duhre, who now writes Indo-Canadian gangland crime novels and speaks out about gang violence, said violent killings are inevitable for those in the lifestyle.
“I hope that this level violence that is hitting our streets serves as a warning to those that are considering this life. It is rare to make it to the age of thirty and those that have should consider themselves lucky,” Dhaliwal said.
“The problem is that luck will not always be on their side as we’ve seen time and again.”
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