Ongoing Violent Conflict Between Two Indo-Canadian Groups In Abbotsford Claims Life Of Innocent Man

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Neighbour says victim is a grandpa who played regularly with his grand kids in the front yard.

A 74-year-old grandfather is the latest victim in the ongoing violent conflict between two Indo-Canadian groups of young men in Abbotsford. The man was apparently standing by his fence on the phone when he was shot. The LINK reported last October of the murder of Harwindip Singh Baringh of Abbotsford, who was shot to death in the same conflict. The LINK had exclusively reported that the Baringh knew his killer and that he was lured to his death. We had reported that a young man known to Baringh had accompanied him to the place where Baringh was shot and killed but police at the time denied any such information to the LINK.

By R. Paul Dhillon

With News Files

ABBOTSFORD – An ongoing violent conflict between two Indo-Canadian groups of young men in Abbotsford has led to the murder of an innocent elderly man in what police are describing as a horrible tragedy.

A 74-year-old grandfather succumbed to his injuries when gunmen opened fire on a vehicle in the man’s neighbouring driveway, at a home in the 3500-block of Promontory Court. The man was apparently standing by his fence on the phone when he was shot, reported CTV news.

Police arrived shortly after 7 p.m. to find an Acura in the driveway with at least five bullet holes. A silver Dodge was also damaged by gunfire.

The victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was discovered by his son. He lives next door to a home that is well known to police and it’s believed the shooting is part of the ongoing conflict raging on the west side of the city.

“It would appear that this man was doing nothing except standing by the fence, as a targeted shooting was taking place next door,” said Const. Ian MacDonald.

“[This is] an absolute horrible tragedy, worst case scenario in many ways,” MacDonald said.

“He was behind a fence, so I doubt very much that he was observed, necessarily, by the suspects. But of course, the suspects are still at large, so there’s a number of questions that we haven’t had answers to yet,” said MacDonald.

This man just came out of the house that police say was the intended target. Not surprisingly, he had nothing to say. Photo Courtesy CTV News

Police say the residents of the home believed to have been targeted are known to police.

“We’ve had a lot of negative contacts with those individuals,” said MacDonald, who didn’t immediately know whether the intended targets were co-operating with investigators.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has taken over the case.

The shooting happened half a block away from where police surveillance cameras are mounted. The cameras were placed there to address the 18 months of gun violence between South Asian men in the area.

This car was captured by surveillance cameras and was seen leaving the area following the shooting.

Surveillance video obtained by CTV Vancouver, taken from a neighbouring home, shows a black suspect vehicle driving into the area before shots were heard, and speeding away from the area shortly afterwards.

“He was speeding fast around the corner, so pretty scary, upsetting. The kids were really upset,” said neighbour Lori Wilton.

MacDonald said the incident should serve as a “wake-up call to everyone in the community that they have to assist police and we have to restore public safety.”

“[This] completely innocent senior who was doing nothing wrong except being outside his own property, who should absolutely have the right to feel safe in his own community was very unsafe and made unsafe by people who are involved in this conflict.”

Last October, Harwindip Singh Baringh of Abbotsford was shot to death, which the LINK had exclusively reported that the victim knew his killer and that he was lured to his death. We had reported that a young man known to Baringh had accompanied him to the place where Baringh was shot and killed but police at the time denied any such information to the LINK.

We also recently reported of another drive by shooting in Abbotsford also linked to ongoing conflict.

Police were called to a residential neighbourhood after reports of shots fired on Sandpiper Drive during evening time.

Several people living nearby phoned police after hearing what they thought was gunfire.

“I just got my son to bed and I was in the kitchen and I hear this big bang bang bang bang bang,” said neighbour Krista Boulton. “I was like ‘oh my God’ and I see this silver car going down Sandpiper.”

Police said they canvassed regional hospitals and located a 23-year-old man with a bullet wound to his leg.

The victim is well-known to police and is not cooperating with investigators. He was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The shooting occurred on same street less than two weeks ago. In October 2014, young Indo-Canadian man (Baringh) shot to death in same neighbourhood.

“We believe at this point in time that it’s connected to this ongoing conflict that we’ve spoken about numerous times that involves predominantly young men on the west side of Abbotsford,” said MacDonald.

Neighbours are being urged to stay vigilant and call police right away to report any suspicious activity.

Abbotsford Police have been warning that there is an escalation of violence between two Indo-Canadian groups with more than 25 incidents being reported since May 11, 2014, most of them involving property damage,

Police at the time said they’re “extremely concerned” that the conflict could result in “serious injuries” either to the young men involved or their families.

The conflict is believes to be between two groups of males, which constitute a large number of young Indo-Canadians, between the ages of 15 and 25 – a total of about 20 people, Abbotsford police said earlier.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has taken over the case. Anyone with information about this incident should call the IHIT Tip Line at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.