SURREY â€” Two men were sent to hospital following a shooting in Whalley early Friday morning, a couple of blocks away from L.A. Matheson Secondary School.
The shooting happened in the 12300-block of Iona Place at about 12:30 a.m.
This was the 38th reported shooting in the Surrey and North Delta area since the beginning of March. Police say many of those are related to a dial-a-dope turf war. This shooting is not believed to be linked to those.
The victims, whose names have not been released, are in their 20s. One has serious wounds but is expected to survive and the other victimâ€™s wounds are â€œrelatively minor,â€ Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann said.
â€œPolice are still trying to identify the suspects who are only described as three or four males in their early 20s,â€ he said. â€œOfficers are combing the area to identify more witnesses and any evidence. This appears to have been a targeted shooting and police donâ€™t believe there is any further risk to the public.
â€œSeveral witnesses have come forward and are assisting police with their investigation,â€ Schumann added.
Meantime, there are unconfirmed reports Friday’s shooting took place at a recovery house.
"We’re looking into that today," Jas Rehal, Surrey’s bylaw enforcement manager, said Friday morning.
Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner recently said shooting victims who refuse to cooperate with police investigation should pay their own hospital bills.
"They should be paying back the cost, or their family should be paying back the cost," she said. "This is really quite unconscionable within any civil society."
Tasleem Juma, spokeswoman for Fraser Health, said regional emergency departments treat almost 620,000 patients each year.
"Victims of these shootings are triaged at the hospital like any other emergency patient," she said. "Those in need of care will be seen first, such as people suffering a heart attack or stroke.
"Although the shootings are a concern for everyone who lives and works in our communities," Juma said, "they do not have a significant impact on the ability of our emergency departments to provide care for people in need."
– with a file from Amy Reid