Police have identified the victim of the homicide today in Abbotsford as Sukhpreet Grewal, 32.
IHIT spokesperson Cpl. Frank Jang addressed the media tonight in the west Abbotsford neighbourhood where Grewal’s body was discovered this afternoon in a home at the corner of Charlotte Avenue and Consort Court – located west of Clearbrook Road and south of Maclure Road – in west Abbotsford.
Jang said police received a report from Grewal’s family that he had been missing and, when they went to his home, they discovered that he was dead and that the circumstances were suspicious.
“His death was determined to be a homicide, and IHIT was called in and has now taken conduct of the investigation,” Jang said. “IHIT is right now working closely with our partners from the Abbotsford Police Department’s major crimes unit, the forensic identification section as well as the B.C. Coroners Service to gather evidence.”
Nobody else was in the home, but Jang said he didn’t know if there were other people who lived there.
Jang said he doesn’t have any information at this time on the cause of death or what tipped police off to the fact that the death was a homicide, but police believe the killing to be targeted.
“Something went awry. There’s foul play involved. Mr. Grewal was a victim of homicide,” Jang said.
He said Grewal is known to police but it’s too early in the investigation to tell if the homicide is gang-related.
Jang said investigators will remain on the scene overnight and into tomorrow morning as they continue to gather evidence and canvass neighbours for information.
“Our forensic specialists and our crime scene investigators will be entering the home and going through it meticulously to gather physical evidence. … Residents in this area should expect to have investigators flood the area (Saturday),” Jang said.
“We are also having our investigators at the Abbotsford Police Department work in conjunction with the major crime investigators there to develop a timeline to determine exactly what Mr. Grewal’s activities were leading up to his death, and who he may have been meeting up with.”
Jang said investigators will be seeking co-operation from family and friends of Grewal to build that timeline. He put out a call for anyone who knows of Grewal’s activities over the days prior to the discovery of his body to speak to police.
Speaking to reporters late Friday night, Jang couldn’t offer much more in the way of details, saying Grewal’s last known whereabouts and activities “is going to be part of the investigation.”
“His family has just been notified just recently. They’ve been notified of his death tonight. As you can understand, they are taking it very hard. It’s unexpected. But we’re going to give them some time,” Jang said. “Our investigators will be following up with them for a fulsome statement.”
A few neighbours who congregated around the property for the media availability Friday night said they were concerned about violence in the area. One neighbour said they had moved from another area of the city to escape the violence, only to find much of the same in the neighbourhood.
That neighbour said she and her partner had narrowly missed being present at shootings in the area in recent months.
“I can tell you we’re getting tired of the violence as well. We sympathize and certainly feel the concerns. But unfortunately there’s another murder in the community,” Jang said.
“But I would just say to the residents just be vigilant. Always be vigilant, as I’m sure you are. It’s always unsettling, a bit nervous, whenever police, let alone IHIT, come to your neighbourhood. But we’re here for a purpose and that’s to get to the bottom of what happened inside that home, get to the bottom of what happened to Mr. Grewal.”
According to the provincial court database, Grewal was charged with assault and uttering threats following an incident on Dec. 4, 2017 in Abbotsford.
The records indicate that he did not show up for a court appearance on June 25 in Abbotsford provincial court, and a warrant was issued on Monday (July 16) for his arrest.
His only other conviction was for driving while prohibited in July 2017, for which he was issued a 20-month driving ban and a $2,000 fine.
Anyone with information on Grewal’s whereabouts and activities prior to his death are asked to contact the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448), or by email at email@example.com.
Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
“We also need Mr. Grewal’s friends and those who knew him best. Don’t be silent. Please come forward and speak with IHIT.”