January 9, 2014 2:28 am
Updated: January 9, 2014 2:30 am

Watch: Concerns about Metro Vancouver gang activity


Watch: Unfiltered – Is the public at risk as brazen public shootings continue? 

Two very public incidents of gun violence in Metro Vancouver are raising new concerns about public safety in public places.

On Tuesday, a man was shot several times while sitting in a busy Cactus Club restaurant in Burnaby.

Police says it appears to be a targeted shooting with links to organized crime and gang activity.

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Later that night, another man was shot at Mac’s convenience store in Giuldford.

Mounties say two men arrived in the same vehicle before having some sort of confrontation inside the store. One man was shot and the other fled on foot.

Police are still looking for suspect, but have identified a person of interest.

Looking back just a couple of years, it’s clear no city is immune.

A gang member was killed outside a Port Moody Sttarbucks in 2012, a month after a shooting at a rec centre.

A busy Burnaby hotel saw two people shot in the lobby in the middle of the day later that year.

It’s also happened in Kelowna: a Hells Angel and a Bacon Brother hit by a hail of bullets in front of a fancy hotel.

Former gang member Amir Javid who is now helping youth avoid gang lifestyle said on Unfiltered with Jill Krop tonight there are no rules in the high-stakes gang life.

“People getting caught in the crossfire is just something that people expect. The point is to get your intended target – no matter what it takes,” says Javid.

He says Surrey Six was a perfect representation of just how far gang members will go to silence any witnesses.

“In the Lower Mainland, what you have is a perfect incubator of violence,” says author Jerry Langton, who has written extensively on gangs. “We have two sets of organized crime that are fighting over the same territory. They all have this macho image. So what happens whenever someone takes more than what the other side think is their share, they need to be dealt with violently in order for the other side to maintain its appearance of strength.”

Watch: Targeted shootings on the rise in BC

With files from Geoff Hastings

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