Surrey’s mayor has “had enough” of brazen shootings in the city and has let the RCMP know arrests must be a top priority.
“It is my worst nightmare,” Hepner told The Leader Monday. “It’s brazen, it’s in the community, we assume it’s targeted, (but) it frightens me.
“I want to see it stopped. I have had enough of this,” Hepner said.
Her comments come after a weekend of gunfire in the streets, bringing the city up to 16 shootings in just over a month – an average of a shooting every second day.
“Unbelievable,” Hepner said of the statistic. “Isn’t that just beyond comprehension?”
The latest shooting happened Monday night in Newton. There is no word yet on whether any injuries occurred.
There was another report of shots fired near 70 Avenue and 149 Street, but police have not been able to confirm that a shooting took place.
The overnight shooting comes on the heels of a weekend of gunfire in Surrey.
On Sunday, a man was taken to hospital after he was shot in the 7000-block of 130 Street at 5 p.m.
Unconfirmed reports are that a car drove up, shots were fired from the vehicle, and it drove away.
On Saturday, one car shot at another near 128 Street and 60 Avenue in Newton. There were no reports of injuries in that shooting.
And on Friday at about 5 a.m., Surrey RCMP received a call of shots fired in the 11700-block of 96 Avenue. On arrival, officers found evidence of shots being fired at a home in the area.
No injuries were reported in that incident.
The recent spate of violence kicked off on March 10 with three shootings in 19 hours.
They were followed by several other incidents involving gunfire.
Police believe four of the shootings are linked and said most are targeted.
Last month RCMP took the unprecedented move of identifying some of the people who had been shot and those who drove them to hospital.
They were not being cooperative with investigators, so police asked for public assistance in identifying any of their known associates.
There is no word on whether any tips are likely to lead to arrests.
Mid-March to mid-April this year has been one of the most violent periods in Surrey in recent memory.
Hepner said she’s had several conversations with Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge Chief Supt. Bill Fordy.
“There’s a lot of pressure coming from my office (to the RCMP),” Hepner said. “And I have every confidence in the police.”
But the RCMP can only do so much without public support, Hepner added, urging anyone who knows anything to come forward.
“Somebody has to step up,” she said.
Surrey has ordered an unprecedented 100 new police officers this year, but Hepner says there’s more that can be done right now.
She’s noticed a much greater police presence in Newton – the location of many of the shootings – and said the city has pushed for other initiatives that could help prevent future incidents.
“We’ve increased our youth unit for the after-school (programs),” Hepner said.
However, the resolution of the most recent shootings, she said, will be up to the Surrey RCMP Serious Crimes Unit.
Anyone with any information about any of the shootings is asked to call the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).