Vancouver Sun

Cops reassure public as gang violence explodes

Man charged in Burnaby shooting was arrested with help from residents: police


Senior police officers from across the Lower Mainland tried to reassure the public Monday they're doing everything they can to combat gang violence despite two weekend murders, including an unpreceden­ted shooting at Vancouver Internatio­nal Airport.

Supt. Dave Chauhan, head of the Integrated Homicide Investigat­ion Team, announced that a murder charge had already been laid in Saturday's fatal shooting outside a Burnaby vape store.

He said 20-year-old Ahmed Tahir was arrested and charged with gunning down Toni Dalipi, 19, on 6th Avenue at 13th Street about 7 p.m.

Tahir also allegedly shot an uninvolved bystander, who made his own way to hospital and is expected to recover.

“I can tell you that this individual is an innocent victim and just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Chauhan said. “We wish him a full and speedy recovery.”

He said the quick arrest came with the assistance of area residents and is a testament to the hard work of police during a challengin­g upswing in gang violence.

“Similar to other recent acts of violence in the region, this was a brazen daylight shooting and upsetting for the community. We share the concerns and are committed to solving each and every case.”

Chauhan also confirmed what Postmedia reported earlier — that the victim of Sunday's disturbing shooting at Vancouver airport was Karman Grewal, a 28-year-old member of the United Nations gang.

Both Grewal's murder and Dalipi's death are believed to be part of the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict.

Tahir was already facing drug traffickin­g and weapons charges related to an incident in Burnaby in November. He is due in Vancouver provincial court on those charges May 13 and is scheduled to appear on the murder charge on June 1.

He was also charged in July 2019 with attempted murder and other counts in connection with a New Westminste­r shooting. But Crown spokesman Dan McLaughlin confirmed Monday that the charges were stayed in December of that year after the Crown “received further informatio­n about the case” and decided the charge approval standard could no longer be met.

Dalipi's murder was captured on dash cam video circulatin­g on social media. It showed the shooter, dressed in black and wearing a blue medical mask, firing into the doorway before turning and attempting to run. He stumbled on the street.

Additional home surveillan­ce video showed the suspect running into someone's yard before being surrounded by police shortly after the shooting.

Likewise, much of the chaos that followed Grewal's murder outside the internatio­nal terminal about 3 p.m. Sunday was captured on video and in photos by the public.

One driver even captured the suspects' SUV fleeing the scene, firing at Richmond RCMP as they chased after the killers.

IHIT's Sgt. Frank Jang said investigat­ors are still looking for dash cam video of the Grewal killers' maroon-coloured Honda Pilot after it fled the airport and ended up in Surrey in the 9700-block of Princess Drive about 3:30 p.m.

RCMP Assistant Commission­er Dwayne McDonald explained Monday how the suspects got away despite the best efforts of police and the use of an RCMP helicopter.

“When criminals commit crimes, they don't play by the rules. They're not practising the speed limit. They don't stop for police. And they drive at high and reckless speeds, in order to get away. So it becomes difficult, no matter how quick the response,” he said. “And notwithsta­nding the fact that we had police officers on scene immediatel­y and that we used air resources … the suspects were able to break containmen­t.”

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth will meet with police chiefs this week to discuss the violence.

He said the police responded “very quickly” to the airport shooting.

The B.C. government has been working with Ottawa to tackle the problem of illegal guns and gangs in the country, Farnworth said.

“We're working with them to ensure there's been beefed-up security at the border, hopefully to be able to interdict illegal weapons coming across from the U.S.,” he said.

McDonald said resources aren't a problem for police, despite a Surrey RCMP hiring freeze.

“We have an abundance of police resources here in the Lower

Mainland when you combine the municipal agencies, the provincial agencies, like (the Organized Crime Agency), the integrated units,” he said.

“We come together in times like this. So we're constantly running joint forces, operations between agencies. We're providing assistance and support in all these different investigat­ions.”

Police intend to target gangsters involved in the conflict by regularly checking those on court-ordered conditions and using programs like Barwatch to keep them out of public places, McDonald said.

“We're going to ensure that, if they have no-contact orders with other gangsters or other individual­s, they're complying,” he said. “We'll do everything we can within the limits of the law to put a wet blanket on the activities of these individual­s.”

 ?? NICK PROCAYLO ?? RCMP Assistant Commission­er Dwayne McDonald says resources aren't a problem for police when it comes to combating escalating gang violence in the Lower Mainland. He says police will do “everything we can within the limits of the law” to target known gangsters in the community.
NICK PROCAYLO RCMP Assistant Commission­er Dwayne McDonald says resources aren't a problem for police when it comes to combating escalating gang violence in the Lower Mainland. He says police will do “everything we can within the limits of the law” to target known gangsters in the community.
 ??  ?? Toni Dalipi
Toni Dalipi

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