B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

South Surrey murder eyewitness gave chase after killer left scene

Witness tells court he saw shooting, then followed shooter to get licence plate for police

The key witness in the brazen shooting of South Surrey father Craig Widdifield took the stand in B.C. Supreme Court Monday morning, testifying he “had direct line of sight” to the killing.

“I saw a person with their right arm extended to another person, heard or saw the two or three shots, the person stepping into the vehicle fell backwards,” the witness told the court. “At that point, I saw everyone just scatter… realized this was the real deal and sort of… saw the last breath of the victim.”

The witness  – whose identity is protected by a publication ban – shared his account of the events on the sixth day of the proceedings against Brody Robert Paterson, 22.

Paterson, arrested in October 2014, pleaded not guilty last week to a charge of first-degree murder in connection with Widdifield’s death, which occurred just before 7 p.m. on April 24, 2013, in the parking lot of the Morgan Crossing shopping centre.

Police at the time described it as a targeted shooting. Following Paterson’s arrest, Asst. Supt. Dwayne McDonald of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team described the shooting as a “murder conspiracy.”

The court heard last week that witnesses scheduled over the four-week trial would testify that Widdifield, 28, was shot and killed by a lone gunman as Widdifield was getting into his white Mercedes SUV.

Monday’s witness told Justice Peter Voith he was looking for parking near the Morgan Crossing Starbucks when the shooting took place.

He described the shooter as between five-foot-seven and five-foot-11, with broad shoulders and wearing a dark-blue hoodie with the hood up, jeans, white shoes and “some sort of mask to disguise his face.”

The witness told the court he had “no idea” of the shooter’s ethnicity.

Following the shooting, the shooter ran around the front of a dark-blue Jeep Grand Cherokee that was parked next to Widdifield’s SUV, entered through the front passenger door, climbed over the console into the driver’s seat and sped away, the witness said.

Cellphone in hand, the witness said he decided to follow the Jeep to get a licence-plate number for police. As he followed – the Jeep sped through the parking lot in the 15700-block of Croydon Drive, turned right on Croydon and made another right on 28 Avenue – the witness called 911.

When the Jeep turned left onto 165 Street – a dead-end road – the witness said he turned right, then backed his vehicle into a driveway and looked towards the dead-end road.

He could see the back end of the now-parked Jeep, and witnessed someone walk casually “from the bushes to another vehicle… halfway between the stop sign and the dead end.” He confirmed he did not see that individual exit the Jeep.

The witness described the second vehicle as a “platinum-grey Volkswagen Jetta.” It drove away 25-30 seconds later, turning eastbound on 28 Avenue, he said.

In response to questions from defence counsel Michael Klein, the witness confirmed he had a direct view of the shooting, that he was certain the shooter climbed into the driver’s seat of the Jeep from the passenger side and that he didn’t lose sight of the Jeep during his pursuit. He also confirmed that he didn’t see how much of the shooter’s face was covered.

The trial is scheduled until Nov. 7.

Just Posted

Surrey Community Leader Awards winners revealed

The 16th CLA awards, presented by the Now-Leader, recognized Surrey’s un-sung heroes

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

MPs meet with Surrey council to discuss RCMP, LRT

Federal government to have quarterly meetings with Surrey

Hogg curious if a new recreation centre is needed in Grandview Heights

South Surrey-White Rock MP to host a Town Hall Meeting tonight

Surrey building that has gathered dust for 20 years is for sale again, with bids sought

Potential sale of the long-vacant 104 Avenue Centre is good news, Surrey Board of Trade CEO says

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Regulatory confusion over ‘toxic’ stink near Abbotsford school

Officials sniffing out which regulators responsible for enforcing compliance at neighbouring property

Most Read