Karman Grewal, 28, was shot and killed outside the airport departures terminal in front of several witnesses at around 3 p.m. PT. He was well known to police, officers said Monday, and his death is believed to be linked to the ongoing gang conflict in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. More than 10 people have been shot dead since mid-April.
“As members of the public you are undoubtedly and rightly concerned … I can tell you that we are working around the clock in open and secret investigations to hit these gangsters at every turn possible,” said the assistant to the RCMP. Comm. Dwayne McDonald.
The mid-afternoon shooting prompted travelers to take cover. Simonne Chalifoux, 58, told CBC News she saw bullets ricocheting off the glass as she sat by a terminal window waiting for her flight back to Whitehorse.
“I’m looking out the window and… the next thing you know, ‘bam, bam, bam, pop, pop, pop.’ It was so quick, so consecutive, ”said Chalifoux, who had been to British Columbia looking after his father after surgery for a stroke.
“I’m like, ‘Holy shit, it just happened.’ It took about 10 seconds to resonate… and then I realized I had to get out of where I was sitting immediately. ”
Questions about the escape of suspects
The RCMP were faced with a series of questions on Monday about how the suspects escaped the airport.
The airport is isolated on an island in Richmond, British Columbia, with a dedicated police and security presence. The main roads and bridges off the island were closed after the shooting, but the suspects were able to escape.
Police stopped the getaway vehicle – an SUV – but suspects shot at the police who responded. They did not retaliate or prosecute the suspects for fear that someone in the area would be injured, officials said.
“This airport is immediately accessible to most routes. When criminals commit a crime, they don’t play by the rules, ”said McDonald.
“There are people in the cars everywhere,” the officer continued. “Unlike the movies, when bullets start flying they end up stopping somewhere… we can’t take this chance to allow a shootout to rage through the streets. “
The murder was the first fatal shooting at the airport, although there was an attempted murder there in 2015. Chalifoux said RCMP officers at the scene on Sunday appeared shocked.
“It will really stay in my mind how upset the members themselves were,” she said.
Grewal targeted before
Grewal had previously been targeted in a gang-related shootout. The RCMP released his photo, along with those of four other men, after a series of shootings in 2017. Officers said the men were still targets and a threat to public safety because they did not cooperate with them. investigators.
Three of the five men included in the public warning are now dead, including Grewal.
“If someone stays in the gang lifestyle, it only ends in two ways: jail or death. It’s that simple, ”said McDonald.
Load carried during the shooting of the 2nd weekend
The airport shooting was the second in Metro Vancouver in as many days. On Monday, the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced that a murder charge had been laid in a shooting that left one dead and injured an innocent bystander in Burnaby, Colombia. British, Saturday.
Ahmed Riyaz Tahir faces one count of first degree murder in the death of Blerton Dalipi, known as Toni.
Dalipi, 19, was gunned down after leaving a business on 6th Street between 12th and 13th Avenues. He died in the hospital.
The RCMP revealed Monday that a second man was hit by a stray bullet. He then presented to hospital with gunshot wounds and is expected to recover from non-fatal injuries.
“This individual is an innocent victim and he just so happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said the IHIT superintendent. Dave Chauhan.
According to court records, Tahir was charged with attempted murder in a neighborhood of New Westminster, British Columbia, with a shooting in 2019.
The attempted murder charge was stayed and Tahir received a five-year gun ban and a one-year peace bond in December 2019.