A 14-year-old boy was the victim of a fatal Monday night (Dec. 28) shooting in Surrey.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is investigating after the teen was shot and killed in a residential area of Guildford.
Around 7:30 p.m., police responded to an incident in the 11000-block of 148A Street where they found the teen “suffering from gunshot wounds,” according to a release from Surrey RCMP.
Photos from the scene show the incident happened in a residential neighbourhood. There was police tape around the front of a house and a white sedan parked in front. There was also a tent sent up next to a taxi, behind the white sedan.
Sergeant Frank Jang, of IHIT, said the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We learned that our victim arrived in the area by taxi when the shooting occurred,” Jang said during a media briefing on Tuesday.
He added the taxi driver was “unharmed and he is fully cooperating” with investigation.
No one else was hurt in the shooting, Jang said.
Police have not yet publicly identified the victim, but he was a resident of Burnaby.
Jang did say the victim was “known to police” and investigators “believe the victim was targeted for murder.”
Asked if Monday’s shooting was gang-related, Jang said “it’s too early to tell.”
“There’s nothing to indicate that as of yet, but that’s a moment by moment thing. That could obviously change, even as I’m speaking,” said Jang, adding the homicide is “certainly not random.”
— Lauren Collins (@laurenpcollins1) December 29, 2020
Sergeant Elenore Sturko, with Surrey RCMP, said the shooting “placed the public at risk,” and in particular, the taxi driver.
“”It’s very fortunate that the driver was not physically injured, however as you might imagine, this was an extremely traumatic incident for them.”
She added that regardless of the victim’s “background or circumstances, the senseless loss of life is a tragedy.”
“Most of us can’t begin to fathom that someone as young as 14 years old could be shot and murdered. It’s disturbing. It’s likely that the public has many questions about how someone so young could be involved in a lifestyle that would put them at risk for such a violent and tragic death.”
Sturko said there will be an “overt police presence” in the community, with an “increased number of officers conducting targeted enforcement.”
Jang said police need help from the community, such as witnesses, dash-cam video.
He said a “dark sedan was seen leaving the area of the shooting, right after the shooting.”
Shortly after the Surrey shooting, Jang said Surrey RCMP received a report of a vehicle on fire in the area of 214th Street and 76th Avenue.
“Now, we haven’t yet definitively linked that vehicle to our earlier Surrey homicide, but our investigators are working to determine that,” said Jang.
This comes a day after IHIT said it was investigating after a man was found with gunshot wounds in a vehicle in the area of 137A Street and 90th Avenue around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The victim, 19-year-old Harman Singh Dhesi, was found with gunshot wounds and taken to hospital where he died.
Jang said Tuesday that “right now, there is no information, no evidence to link those two.”
“We realize the timing within 24 hours, but sometimes those things happen.”
— With files from Aaron Hinks