Residents of Surrey’s Fraser Heights neighbourhood, rocked by gunfire in broad daylight Tuesday, are venting their frustration with violent crime in the city.
Police say the drive-by shooting, which saw a bullet-riddled black Chrysler crash into one home’s fence, appeared to be targeted.
The attack, which happened around 5 p.m. near 111 Avenue and 160 Street, left two men injured.
One of those men has been identified as Thomas Gabriel Saul, who is known to police for being involved in drug trafficking both within the Lower Mainland and outside B.C.
“I don’t even understand it because it’s hard to get out of here, we’re kind of closed in… but I guess they get access to the freeway quick enough and they’re gone.”
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The shooting was particularly disturbing to neighbours because it happened right in front of a daycare, where parents would pick up their kids.
Four other nearby daycares were put on lockdown, and police have now deployed extra resource officers to nearby schools.
READ MORE: 2 males injured after shots fired in Surrey
“It was pretty scary. The major thing for me was to make sure the family and everybody else was okay,” said Rafique Awan, who lives in the home the target vehicle crashed into.
Awan’s six- and eight-year-old children were doing their homework at a window overlooking the fence where the car crash happened.
“Unfortunately they, I think, ended up seeing what happened because they were studying,” he said.
“They mentioned to my wife that they saw the people bleeding, things like that.”
Awan said he’d had smaller crime problems in the area, such as people rifling through his car when it was left unlocked, but until the shooting had considered the neighbourhood “pretty safe.”
“No one expected this,” he said.
The Surrey RCMP is investigating, but has not released a description of the suspect vehicle.
Police say Saul poses a risk to public safety due to his refusal to cooperate with police. He’s also been the target of other shootings, including one in Burnaby just two weeks earlier.
—With files from Sean Boynton