Surrey RCMP say they have now confirmed 28 incidents of shots fired in the city – about double what has been released to the public.
Police say not all shots-fired incidents are cause for alarm and say public releases only go out when it’s believed residents are at risk, or when witnesses are needed.
“Not all of them do we require witnesses,” said Surrey RCMP Supt. Shawn Gill. “We don’t also want to create fear when there is no need to.”
Out of the 28 shooting incidents, there have been three arrests.
The number of shootings amounts to about one every three days since the start of the year, with a large portion of them occurring this month, mostly in Newton and Whalley.
Police do not believe the shootings are related to the spate of gunfire incidents last year, but they do believe it is connected to a dial-a-dope operation where people phone dealers for their drugs.
“The majority of this year’s incidents continue to involve those associated with the illegal drug trade,” said Surrey RCMP Supt. Manny Mann.
At least five of the shootings this year are connected to two groups fighting over drug turf. Mann said it’s a “low-level” drug trade, not associated with any drug “organization.”
As part of their crackdown on the drug trade, Surrey RCMP displayed one of their biggest drug busts in recent history.
Before them at a Friday press conference was more than $4.5 million in drugs seized from a vehicle.
As a result of that seizure, Pardip Hayer is facing four drug-related charges.
“It was an ongoing investigation strategy on our part, that we pulled this individual over,” said Gill, adding the drugs were from another country.
The size of the seizure of drugs has police thinking it could have come from gang-level activity.
“We would be remiss to not examine the potential for links to organized crime,” said Gill.