Police investigate at the scene of a recent drive-by shooting in Surrey. Photo: Now-Leader file

ZYTARUK: Well, it happened. Again.

Drive-by shootings have become a part of our social fabric here in the Lower Mainland

So let it be written…

So this is what it takes.

Vancouver Police will apparently spare no expense, turn over all stones and throw the proverbial kitchen sink into it as they investigate what almost everybody in the Lower Mainland knew beforehand would happen probably some day sooner rather than later.

They have to be building a special condominium in hell for the monster/s whose reckless gunplay – geez, what a witless term – on Vancouver’s streets sent an innocent 15-year-old boy to his tragically premature death.

Alfred Wong was hit by a stray bullet while sitting in the back seat of his parents’ car last Saturday evening, at busy Broadway and Ontario Street. He died Monday. Could have been any one of us. Or our kids. Might well be one day, if things keep going the way they are.

Murder is of course no new thing, harkening back to the days of Cain and Abel. When I started reporting on crime here in Surrey a silver anniversary ago, sure, there were murders. But drive-by shootings were rare.

Really rare.

That sort of thing happened in Inglewood and South Side Chicago. Bloods, Crips, gangsters over there, far away, not here, not in our neighbourhoods and not done by our neighbours.

Not so any more.

Drive-by shootings have become a part of our social fabric here in the Lower Mainland. In Surrey, we keep a tally of what police call “shots fired incidents.” So far there has been two shootings in Surrey in 2018. There were 59 shootings in Surrey during 2017, and in 2016 there were 61. In 2015 there were 88.

In the steady diet of news stories, street shootings have become a staple.

READ ALSO: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

READ ALSO: Four years for manslaughter in Surrey drive-by shooting

READ ALSO: Boy, 15, one of three hit in Vancouver shooting

READ ALSO: Man hurt in Surrey’s first shooting of 2018 in Cloverdale

In the wake of young Wong’s death, Vancouver’s Chief Constable Adam Palmer noted it was the first bystander killing in Vancouver since 2004. He said the murder was an “anomaly” and his is a “safe city.”

Try telling that to this dead boy’s parents. Clearly not safe for him. Not safe for us, as long as criminals continue to shoot at each other from cars, on busy streets.

That goes for Surrey, too.

While this reckless killing of an innocent bystander happened in Vancouver, it could have just as easily happened here. Surrey is not without its premature graves and innocent victims; its Ed Schellenbergs, its Chris Mohans.

Why, just this past July a woman visiting Surrey from Ontario was grazed by a bullet, in her shoulder, as criminals shot at each other from separate vehicles in Newton. This innocent bystander had been sitting in the passenger seat of a parked van. It’s counterintuitive to call her lucky, but lucky she was. To be alive, that is.

Alfred Wong’s homicide is sickening. So was Mahdi Halane’s, in Surrey. Another innocent destroyed in a drive-by shooting. Over what? Somebody spat on someone else, tempers flared and bullets flew. Halane had nothing to do with that costly spitting. The 18-year-old was hit in the neck, rendering him a quadriplegic. Recently a man was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the crime. Halane, I note, suffered for six years before dying in hospital. His family is suffering still.

The authorities really need to get medieval on these gangsters who put decent folks’ lives – and those of innocent children – in random danger.

The rub is, they need to find a way to do it that won’t have the rest of us living under martial law.

A good place to start is for certain people – mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, lovers and friends – to grow a conscience and turn these shooters over to police.

So let it be done.

Tom Zytaruk is a staff writer with the Now-Leader. He can be reached at tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com.

Just Posted

White Rock RCMP searching for suspect after violent gas station robbery

The 7-11 Esso (1595 Nichol Rd.) was robbed at 5:15 a.m., Sunday

OUR VIEW: Build bridges over Surrey election divides

Surrey voters have set the course for at least the next four years. It is what it is

Voters did not agree with White Rock Coalition philosophy: Lawrence

Incumbent says changes to city were “too much, too fast” for voting public

Resident ‘fears for safety’ at South Surrey intersection

City confirms six crashes this year at junction – but says other areas are worse

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Vancouver mom creates screen-free kids’ entertainment

Luna Cheng, who grew up in Langley, is one of the creators of BoredBox.

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

5 tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween

BC Children’s Hospital has a few suggestions to keep Oct. 31 fun

B.C. man gets seven years in prison for baseball-bat attack on Kamloops teen

Kamloops man who beat Jessie Simpson into a coma has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He was originally charged with attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

Most Read