DELTA — Delta Police say the drive-by shooting last week in North Delta wasn’t connected with Surrey’s rash of shootings but resulted from a dispute between teenagers over property.
This was the first confirmed shooting in Delta since May 2015. Surrey, on the other hand, has had 33 shootings so far this year and police say some of those were over drug trafficking territory.
Delta’s shooting was not over drugs, Sgt. Sarah Swallow said. Police arrested two 19-year-old Delta men after shots were fired at a house and vehicle in North Delta on April 28. Both have been released from custody and are to appear in Surrey provincial court next month on charges of careless use of a firearm, possession of a prohibited weapon, and possession of stolen property. Their names have not been released as the charges haven’t been formally sworn.
“A firearm was seized from the residence of one of the arrested males,” Swallow said. ‘Delta Police will continue to work with the families and community to address the background issues culminating in this incident.
“Subsequent to the initial investigation, Delta Police investigators now do not believe this shooting is related to the current situation occurring in Surrey, and that this incident is the result of an escalating personal property issue between teenagers.”
That said, she added that police are still taking this case very seriously.
Police were called to the 8500-block of 114th Street at about 8:30 p.m April 27 in response to a call about shots being fired in the area but found no evidence. A white Chrysler 300, a gold coloured Honda and a white Lincoln were scene leaving the area, Swallow said.
Then, at 12:20 a.m. Delta Police responded to a second report of shots fired, this time in the 7700-block of 117th Street.
“On arrival, officers located a residence and vehicle that had been shot,” Swallow said. “No one in the residence or surrounding area was injured.”
Police found a gold coloured Honda they suspect was involved in the shooting and the two men were arrested.
“Unfortunately, the residents of the targeted house are uncooperative with the police investigation,” Swallow said.
Meantime, Delta Police Department has unleashed a dedicated crime-fighting squad onto the municipality’s streets. The DART, or Direct Action and Response Team, is a four-officer uniformed squad aimed at tackling emerging crime trends. It is active in this shooting case.
“Our major crime section started the investigation and the DART team will be continuing with it,” Swallow said.
“Their primary focus is on crime hot spots. Anything we see a spike in.”
Team leader Sgt. Mo Parry and constables Chris Cottrill, Lindsay Hallman and Ryan Lovera are working flexible shifts, keeping an eye on chronic offenders and “proactively targeting increases in crime through creative problem solving and direct targeting of identified activities and criminal individuals.”
Parry noted that officers on patrol traditionally respond to all calls for help with traffic usually their main focus “with trends and hot spots as a secondary function of their work when time allows.”
The DART project, he noted, will see the squad “effectively problem solve and target any such activities or hot spots the moment they become apparent.”
DART first hit the streets on March 30.