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White Rock victim identified as police boost patrols after deadly stabbing

Click to play video: 'Fatal White Rock stabbing victim identifed by family, friends'
Fatal White Rock stabbing victim identifed by family, friends
The victim of a fatal White Rock stabbing has been identified as 28-year-old Kulwinder Sohi. As Troy Charles reports, his family and friends don't believe enough was done to warn the public about the ongoing safety risk in the area – Apr 25, 2024

White Rock RCMP say they have increased patrols along the city’s waterfront and will be sending more officers to the area following two stabbings and the death of one man near the pier in recent days.

Family and friends have identified the fatal stabbing victim as Kulwinder Sohi.

Sohi’s younger brother Gurleen and close friend Gagan Singh told Global News it was a senseless attack.

“My brother was stabbed in the back and in the heart,” Gurleen said.

According to Singh, Kulwinder was sitting with a friend, enjoying the view at White Rock Beach.

“They were both sitting in one of the view benches and they were talking normal things, suddenly there was the attack from behind,” Singh said.

The friend who was there for the attack has reportedly told the Sohi family the killer smiled as the two ran away.

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At a Wednesday afternoon press conference, RCMP Staff Sgt. Rob Dixon said Mounties increased patrols in the area on Monday after a man was stabbed in the neck while sitting on a bench with his wife Sunday night. Police normally increase patrol during the warmer months starting in May.

“At the time it was simply increasing those foot patrols that we do routinely, so increasing the frequency of that,” he said. “Now we will be bringing in extra members so that we have a presence on the waterfront in addition to our members that are currently on duty.”

Click to play video: 'Stabbing victim was on his first visit to famous White Rock Pier'
Stabbing victim was on his first visit to famous White Rock Pier

Despite the increased patrols on Monday, homicide investigators were called out to the area near Marine Drive and Cypress Street around 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday after a man was fatally stabbed.

A suspect was seen fleeing towards Marine Drive. Police, including the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service, launched a search but were unable to locate the suspect.

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On Wednesday morning, a single bouquet of flowers had been placed at the scene, which remains behind yellow police tape. IHIT said the area will remain blocked off as police conduct their investigation.

Police say in both stabbings, the suspect descriptions are similar but IHIT Sgt. Timothy Pierotti said it’s unclear if the two incidents are related, if they were targeted or if the victims had anything in common.

“This is very early in our investigation,” he said. “At this point, we have no reason to think that it was a situation that was premeditated.”

The suspect is described as a Black male who is five feet, 11 inches tall and was last seen wearing a hat and a grey hoodie with the hood up over the hat.

Local resident Brad Sakiyama said he arrived as first responders were attempting to revive the victim on Tuesday and police had blocked off the area.

Click to play video: 'Man dead in second violent incident in White Rock this week'
Man dead in second violent incident in White Rock this week

“I’ve been here 13 years on the (White Rock Beach) hump here, and we’ve never had any crime like this or violence,” he said.

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Dixon said he wanted to reassure locals and visitors about the safety of the area.

“It’s important to recognize the fact that these are these are shocking, tragic incidents. It’s an abnormality to what we normally see here,” he said. “I’m here all the time. I would be walking with my family. That’s normal. I would allow my mother to walk as per normal in the area.”

Pierotti also wished to reassure the public.

“If we knew that there was somebody out there or we knew specifically that there was an area out there that you would be in an increased danger going to, we would be the first to make sure that we’re working with the White Rock RCMP to get that information out there,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Crime forces owner of White Rock paddleboard business to give up storefront'
Crime forces owner of White Rock paddleboard business to give up storefront

White Rock Mayor Megan Knight joined law enforcement at Tuesday’s press conference after postponing her scheduled state of the city address.

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She said data from police does not point to a significant increase in crime.

“I’ve lived here for 45 years, so I was completely shocked when it first happened on Sunday night and then again last night,” Knight said, adding the city will support the police investigation in any way it can. “If that’s more boots on the ground or cameras or whatever it’s going to be, we will support it.”

White Rock council gave direction to city staff to look into whether more CCTV cameras were needed around the city and a report is expected in the near future.

Knight said it comes down to what the cameras can and cannot do.

“If they’re going to take a picture in the dark and you’re not going to see the person anyways, I don’t know how well that’s going to work,” she said.

Anyone with information or dash cam footage from the area around the time of the attack is asked to contact the IHIT infoline at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

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