Actress and model Maple Batalia shot and killed in Surrey
A young woman shot and killed in a parkade at the SFU campus at Central City Shopping Centre in Surrey on Wednesday morning has been identifed as 19-year-old Maple Batalia.
Her father, Harkirat Batalia, confirmed the young woman’s identity to Global News. She is a graduate of Enver Creek Secondary in Surrey and was hoping to become a doctor.
“Two uniformed officers immediately began CPR to do whatever they could to save this young woman’s life,” said Sergeant Peter Thiessen, spokesperson for the Lower Mainland District RCMP and IHIT.
Batalia was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital where she subsequently died.
Batalia is a model and actress, and her most recent role was in the movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” where she played Melissa. She was also a finalist in the Central City Shopping Centre model search.
One witness told Global BC reporter Grace Ke that he heard seven gunshots in quick succession, and when he looked out of his window across the street he saw a car screeching out of the car park.
Batalia’s father says he thinks a young man who had been harassing Maple may be responsible for the shooting, as his daughter had been complaining about a man following her around. However, this was not reported to police before the shooting.
“She had been complaining that a few days back, that she was at Tim Horton’s sitting with friends, and he was not happy to see her there. He pushed her, and then the management called the police. What ever happened after that, I don’t know,” he said.
Thiessen says there’s nothing to suggest the murder is linked to gangs or organized crime.
Grief counsellors are being made available to students at the SFU campus in Surrey.
“We go to school here every day and someone my age died here. It’s crazy,” said one student.
Some students were studying at the school at the time of the shooting.
“I’m afraid some students witnessed what happened. They were studying here early in the morning and heard or saw what happened,” said SFU spokesperson Don MacLachlan.
Batalia’s friends took to social media to express their grief.
Priya Chundunsing (@iPriyaC) Tweeted, “RIP Maple Batalia… one of my good friends…Your kindness, positiveness & beautiful soul will be missed!!”
Anisha Judge (@AnishaJudge) Tweeted, “Maple Batalia, words cannot describe how amazing you are. Rest in paradise.”