SURREY— After a quiet summer, gunshots are once again ringing out in Surrey.
Surrey has had three drive-by shootings since Saturday evening. The latest shooting happened near Strawberry Hill elementary school in Newton, shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday.
A 22-year-old man was shot but was expected to survive following what Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann characterized as a “confrontation between two groups associated to two vehicles” in the 7600-block of 124th Street.
It’s remarkable no one else was hit, as the school’s playground is typically busy at that time of day.
“It’s outrageous that it’s happening at all,” said Surrey school district spokesman Doug Strachan.
Get the feeling #surreybc residents have had enough? Again? We have.Amazing no child was killed last night.
— Laila Yuile (@lailayuile) September 16, 2015
— Karen Sidhu (@kreidsidhu) September 16, 2015
The school was hit by bullets and police still had it behind yellow crime scene tape, searching for evidence, as children arrived for their classes Wednesday morning.
“The media cameras that are here are probably attracting more attention than anything else,” Strachan noted from the scene. He said the district will send out a letter to parents, with advice on how to deal with their children’s anxiety, if any.
A house was also hit.
Meantime, Schumann noted the investigation “is in its infancy and it’s too early to make any connections to other Lower Mainland shootings.”
It brings the number of shootings in Surrey and North Delta to 46 since the beginning of March. Police say many of those are related to a dial-a-dope turf war in this area.
The shootings had more or less dropped off in July.
Police also don’t know if the shootings on Monday and Saturday are linked.
“We’re not sure,” Schumann said, “reason being we haven’t identified any suspects. Nobody’s shown up at hospital with gunshot wounds.”
The Surrey RCMP received several phone calls at about 5:15 p.m Monday about a white Jeep chasing a black Chevrolet Corvette near 132nd Street and 89th Avenue in Whalley. Police flooded the area with patrol cars but have not found the two vehicles. Witnesses told investigators that three or four shots were fired from the Jeep at the Corvette.
“Evidence was located in the area to support these reports of shoots being fired,” said Surrey RCMP Staff Sgt. Blair McColl. “A canvass of the area failed to locate any indications of injuries or damage.
“No arrests have been made,” he said. “The investigation is still in its early stages, but initial indications are that this incident is targeted and that the parties involved likely knew each other. It is too early to tell if this incident is linked to any other conflicts in Surrey.”
The first of these latest drive-by shootings happened in Newton early Saturday evening.
Police were called to the 6800-block of 128th Street at roughly 6:30 p.m.
“Officers could not locate anyone at the scene in relation to the shots fired,” said Staff Sgt. Joe Johal. Police received a call from a man who told them he was driving on 128th Street approaching 68th Avenue when another vehicle pulled up alongside his and someone opened fire on him. No one was injured.
The driver drove a short distance before calling police to report the shooting. It doesn’t appear to have been random, Johal said.
“Occupants of the vehicle are providing very limited information to the investigators,” he added.
Police ask anyone with information about these shootings to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.