First-degree murder charge laid in Surrey shooting

Johnny Steven Drynock charged with first-degree murder in Birinderjeet Justin Bhangu shooting

SURREY — Johnny Steven Drynock, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in the March 13 shooting of Birinderjeet Justin Bhangu, 29, in Surrey.

Bhangu was shot while sitting in his car in a parking lot in Fleetwood.

“Following two months of exhaustive work and intensive evidence-gathering, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has received charge approval for first-degree murder against Mr. Drynock,” Staff Sergeant Jennifer Pound, a spokeswoman for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said Wednesday afternoon.

A statement released on the victim’s behalf said his family is devastated. “Birinder was a very loving, respectful and warm-hearted individual who did not deserve to be taken from us so soon in this horrendous way,” it read.

IHIT had released photos and a video on March 17 of a suspect taken “seconds prior” to the fatal shooting.

Banghu is Surrey’s third homicide victim this year.

He was found in his car outside the Comfort Inn Hotel, in the 8200-block of 166th Street.

SEE VIDEO: Homicide investigators release footage of suspect in fatal Surrey shooting

Shortly after the shooting happened, Pound said, Bhangu had been driving an Acura MDX and pulled into a parking stall in front of the hotel at 2:22 p.m. The suspect, she said, exited a Nissan Pathfinder that was backed into a parking stall near Bhanghu at 2:23 p.m. and approached him from his driver’s side.

‘While approaching the vehicle, the suspect begins shooting at 2:24 p.m.,” Pound alleged. “The suspect ran back to his vehicle and fled the parking lot westbound making a right hand turn onto Fraser Highway. The Nissan Pathfinder, driven by the suspect, was recovered in Kelowna the following day, March 14.

“Members of the community, the general public and even those entrenched in this lifestyle themselves should be outraged by the arrogance and inhumanity that was exhibited on this day,” Pound said at the time.

Corporal Meghan Foster, also a spokeswoman for IHIT, said Bhangu “was known to police and evidence collected suggests this was a targeted homicide. This blatant act of violence was committed in a busy area of the community and fortunately no one else was hurt.”

Shortly after the shooting happened Pound said, Bhangu had been driving an Acura MDX and pulled into a parking stall in front of the hotel at 2:22 p.m. The suspect, she said, exited a Nissan Pathfinder that was backed into a parking stall near Bhanghu at 2:23 p.m. and approached him from his driver’s side.

‘While approaching the vehicle, the suspect begins shooting at 2:24 p.m.,” Pound alleged. “The suspect ran back to his vehicle and fled the parking lot westbound making a right hand turn onto Fraser Highway. The Nissan Pathfinder, driven by the suspect, was recovered in Kelowna the following day, March 14.

“Members of the community, the general public and even those entrenched in this lifestyle themselves should be outraged by the arrogance and inhumanity that was exhibited on this day,” Pound said at the time.

Corporal Meghan Foster, also a spokeswoman for IHIT, said Bhangu “was known to police and evidence collected suggests this was a targeted homicide. This blatant act of violence was committed in a busy area of the community and fortunately no one else was hurt.”

It was Surrey’s eighth shots-fired incident in 2017.

Pound said Drynock has been in custody since April 8th on an unrelated matter, in Merritt, B.C. He is expected to appear in Surrey provincial court on Friday on the first-degree murder charge.

tom.zytaruk@ surreynowleader.com