The video footage begins with a shot of an empty hallway in an apartment building.
It proceeds through a door on the right – marked suite 1505 – and past a zebra-patterned mat on the floor.
Then, to the immediate left, the camera captures a grisly scene – a man lying on his back, partially under a computer desk, with blood pooled beneath his head. His hands are coated in blood, and shattered glass and scattered envelopes cover his legs.
This, the court is told, is Michael Lal – one of six victims of the Surrey Six killings that occurred in the Balmoral Tower apartment building on Oct. 19, 2007.
Footage shot by RCMP Cpl. Graeme Matthews was shown in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday at the trial of three of the accused killers – Michael Le, Matthew Johnston and Cody Haevischer.
The three have been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy.
Matthews, a member of the RCMP’s forensic identification section, was among the initial investigators on scene and was in charge of shooting the documenting video.
The footage shows Lal lying on the floor in an area behind a love seat with Ryan Bartolomeo and innocent bystander Chris Mohan.
Bartolomeo is lying face down, and the video zooms in to show gunshot wounds behind his right ear and at the back of his head.
Mohan is also lying face down, his head pooled in blood, with shell casings on his legs and a handgun by the right side of his torso.
Mohan’s mom, Eileen, was in court for the proceedings, but left before the video was shown.
On the other side of the love seat, three bodies are positioned side by side, lying face down. Each of them also has blood pooled beneath their heads.
Eddie Narong is in the middle, with Michael Lal’s brother, Corey, and innocent bystander Ed Schellenberg of Abbotsford on either side of him.
Corey Lal and Schellenberg, a gas fitter who was doing maintenance in the suite just before the killings, have black hoods over their heads, while Narong has a light blue cloth on his.
Bloody “drag marks” can be seen on the wood floor just over Schellenberg’s head.
A bullet is situated by Schellenberg’s left foot, and shell casings are scattered across the floor.
The footage goes on to show the rest of the sparsely decorated suite, including doors open on empty cupboards, a heavy black pot on the stove, and an empty safe on the living room floor.
A second handgun is shown wedged between the wall and the computer desk.
Following Matthews’ testimony, Staff Sgt. David Teboul, an officer with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, took the stand and described what he observed upon arriving at the crime scene on Oct. 20, 2007.
“What I saw immediately was a scene … that was nothing short of horrific, even for a seasoned investigator,” he recounted.
Teboul was assigned the role of crime scene manager. He described seeing the six bodies and his other observations of the suite, including the odour of crack cocaine and what he thought was the drug in a pot on the stove.
Teboul said the suite contained no clothes and there was no shower curtain in the bathroom.
“I was left with the impression that the apartment wasn’t lived in,” he said.
Teboul’s duties included gathering and bagging evidence from suite 1505. His testimony was scheduled to continue Wednesday, after press deadline, and was to include details of this evidence.
The Crown has alleged that Le, Johnston and Haevischer conspired to murder rival drug trafficker Corey Lal, and the other five were killed because they were witnesses.
Previous testimony in the trial has indicated that no one lived in suite 1505, but that it was used mainly as a meeting place.
The trial is expected to last up to a year. Jamie Bacon, formerly of Abbotsford, is also charged in the murder of Corey Lal, but will be tried at a later date.