More action needed to combat gun violence: Surrey MLA

Opposition MLAs grilled B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Morris in question period Monday about escalating gun violence in Surrey

  • Apr. 5, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Investigators at the scene of a shooting near Surrey's Bear Creek Park on Monday.

BY KIM BOLAN, VANCOUVER SUN

As Opposition MLAs grilled B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Morris in question period Monday about escalating gun violence, Surrey RCMP was responding to the 31st shooting of 2016.

And Burnaby RCMP announced that homicide investigators were being called in after the body of a shooting victim was discovered on Byrne Creek Trail.

Surrey MLA Bruce Ralston said police are not doing enough to tackle the violence, which is linked to Metro Vancouver’s drug trade.

“They are not solving these cases. The violence is accelerating,” Ralston said in an interview. “That’s what people are really worried about. It’s not just a low-level background noise. It is a major ongoing threat to public safety in neighbourhoods in Surrey and in Burnaby, for that matter.”

SEE ALSO: Man shot near Bear Creek Park in Surrey’s 31st shooting of 2016

Since senior Surrey Mounties told reporters Friday that they had implemented successful strategies to combat the violence, there have been three more incidents of public gunplay.

The latest came just before 2 p.m. Monday near 86th Avenue and 140th Street.

Cpl. Scotty Schumann said officers responded to 911 calls and found “evidence of shots being fired in the area and a male suffering from a gunshot wound.”

“The male was taken to local hospital with what is believed to be non-life threatening injuries,” Schmumann said. “Initial indications are that this is a targeted incident.”

The Monday shooting follows two others over the weekend, one of which left a man with serious injuries.

There were 60 shootings in Surrey in all of 2015.

Meanwhile the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was called to the 7300-block of Sandborne Avenue in Burnaby after a body was found Monday.

Burnaby RCMP said officers responded to the area about 8 p.m. Sunday after reports of shots fired.

“When members arrived on scene they began a search of the area including the Byrne Creek Trail that continued until the following morning. Police confirm a body has now been located,” Sgt. Derek Thibodeau said.

“We do not believe this incident is connected to any other ongoing Burnaby RCMP investigation.”

Ralston said the RCMP should be asked hard questions about their tactics in investigating the shootings and murders.

“Have they drawn on any of the national resources? Have they asked for alternate investigative techniques? Have they conducted a management review or an internal audit of the work on these particular investigations?” he said. “These are tough questions that need to be asked and they can’t just blow them off.”

He said it’s lucky there haven’t been more murders given the number of shootings.

“The potential for all kinds of people to be caught in the cross fire … it is just very, very worrisome and disturbing.”

kbolan@postmedia.com

blog: vancouversun.com/therealscoop

twitter.com/kbolan

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