Police on scene of a shooting in the 11000-block of 148A Street in Surrey on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. On Tuesday, police confirmed the shooting was believed to be targeted and the victim was a 14-year-old boy who was “known to police.” (Photo: Curtis Kreklau)

Police on scene of a shooting in the 11000-block of 148A Street in Surrey on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. On Tuesday, police confirmed the shooting was believed to be targeted and the victim was a 14-year-old boy who was “known to police.” (Photo: Curtis Kreklau)

‘One too many’: Gang education, awareness is key after teen killed in targeted shooting in Surrey

In less than 24 hours, a 14- and 19-year-old were killed in separate targeted shootings

“We should never get used to hearing of young people being killed.”

That’s what Sergeant Frank Jang, the spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said when confirming that the victim of the Dec. 28 shooting in a Guildford residential neighbourhood was a 14-year-old boy from Burnaby.

READ ALSO: 14-year-old boy is the victim of Surrey’s latest shooting, Dec. 29, 2020

Around 7:30 p.m. on Monday, in the 11000-block of 148A Street, police found the teen “suffering from gunshot wounds.”

The boy had arrived in the area by taxi when he was shot, Jang said.

“I mean, we’ve had young people, victims of homicide, in the past… But you never get used to it, and rightfully so.”

While police have not publicly identified the teen, some local media have spoken with his father, mother and sister.

However, the teen isn’t the youngest shooting victim in the city.

On Oct. 28, 1997, 14-year-old Matt Smith was found shot dead in a ditch in the 13800-block of 58th Avenue.

READ ALSO: Unsolved murders in Surrey, Sept. 18, 2015

Sergeant Elenore Sturko, with the Surrey RCMP, said, “Regardless of their background or circumstances, the senseless loss of life is a tragedy.”

“Most of us can’t begin to fathom that someone as young as 14 years old could be shot and murdered,” she said. “It’s disturbing. It’s likely that the public has many questions about how someone so young could be involved in a lifestyle that would put them at risk for such a violent and tragic death.”

Jang added police are looking into “why anyone would want to harm this young man.”

When asked if the shooting was connecting to gang activity, Jang said Tuesday that it’s “too early to tell.”

“There’s nothing to indicate that as of yet, but that’s a moment by moment thing. That could obviously change, even as I’m speaking.”

He said when there’s a homicide, investigators will do a “very fulsome” background check on the victim.

But, Jang noted, that the 14-year-old was “known to police” and investigators “believe the victim was targeted for murder.”

He added it was “certainly not random.”

By Dec. 31, there were still no updates as to whether the shooting was gang-related or not.

The Dec. 28 incident followed another targeted shooting in Surrey, less than 24 hours earlier.

READ ALSO: One man dead following shooting in Surrey, Dec. 28, 2020

Nineteen-year-old Harman Singh Dhesi was found with gunshot wounds inside his vehicle in the area of 137A Street and 90th Avenue on Dec. 27.

Police said Dhesi was known to police and it is “believed to be a targeted incident.”

However, Jang said there was “no information, no evidence” to link the shootings on Sunday and Monday.

“We realize the timing within 24 hours, but sometimes those things happen. In the history of IHIT, we’ve seen homicides occurring close to each other in the past.”

READ ALSO: Surrey SAFE anti-gang family program seeing results, Aug. 19, 2020

READ ALSO: A former Surrey gangster’s cautionary tale, June 1, 2018

Sergeant Brenda Winpenny, spokesperson for Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit in B.C., it’s “not common” to see 14-year-olds getting involved “to the stage where they’re being targeted and being shot.”

“Thankfully that is not a regular, common occurrence. Obviously, when it does happen, it is concerning and it is shocking,” said Winpenny, adding, “No one deserves to die, especially in this way.”

CFSEU-BC is the province’s “integrated anti-gang police agency,” which focuses not only on enforcement and suppression but also education, awareness and prevention.”

Winpenny said CFSEU-BC developed the End Gang Life program, knowing it needed to be “bold and impactful program to reach people and really encapsulate the violence that is associated with gangs and the gang lifestyle, and the true realities that are associated and how young, vulnerable people are enticed to get into this lifestyle, even at the low level of drug dealing.”

She added there are “many, many different programs available” to help youth that “find themselves either being enticed into a gang lifestyle or are in this lifestyle and are needing help to get out.”

While Winpenny said it can be “as simple as the low-level on-the-street drug dealing,” the community needs to understand the “risk factors.”

“If your child’s coming home with a new vehicle, or a different vehicle, or a new watch or extra money when he’s not working, these are all things that should send warning bells to take a closer look at and have a conversation with your kids.”

She noted it can be an “extremely dangerous lifestyle.”

“One child being involved in gang violence, or deadly gang violence, is one too many.”

What needs to be talked about, Winpenny said, is new technology and social media.

She said kids can be “savvy” on social media, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, some may be isolated or more vulnerable.

“We’ve seen social media used as a tool for gangs to try and recruit.”

– With a file from Tom Zytaruk


Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Combined Forces Special Enforcement UnitIHITSurreysurrey rcmp

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pixabay image
Surrey recovers 29,000 jobs it lost to pandemic

That’s according to Surrey Board of Trade’s fifth Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report on COVID-19

A worker is seen throwing a chicken in an undercover video in 2017 filmed by California-based animal rights activists Mercy For Animals.
Fraser Valley chicken abuse trial delayed until February

Originally scheduled for a jury trial, Sofina and Chilliwack company now face judge alone

Desmond Tompkins helped curate and host a youth art show at the South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre art show highlights ‘diverse perspectives’

With COVID-19 protocols in place, youth art show underway

The SACH Community Hub team, from left to right: Upkar Singh Tatlay, Gary Thandi, Allysha Ram, Jassy Pandher, Harman Pander. (Submitted photo)
There’s help for South Asian men wrestling with drug addiction in Surrey

South Asian deaths related to toxic drugs increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

Most Read