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‘We will be relentless in our hunt’: Metro Vancouver police vow to crack down on gang activity

Click to play video: 'Burnaby RCMP are dedicated to tackling gang violence ‘7 days a week’' Burnaby RCMP are dedicated to tackling gang violence ‘7 days a week’
At an IHIT presser Monday, Supt. Graham De la gorgendiere is assuring the public that they are doing everything they can to get gun violence under control in the region. – May 10, 2021

Police agencies across the Lower Mainland say they are working closely together to crack down on a recent increase in gun violence across the region.

There have been 10 shootings in three weeks, with eight of them fatal and most believed to be connected to the Lower Mainland gang conflict.

Police are now facing questions about safety from the public and concerns innocent people could be swept up in the violence. An innocent bystander was shot by a stray bullet during a targeted shooting on Saturday. The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

“As members of the public, you are undoubtedly and obviously concerned,” BC RCMP Asst. Comm. Dwayne McDonald said at a news conference Monday.

“All branches of police are committed to the safety of everyone and are working to stop this.”

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On Sunday, 28-year-old Karman Grewal became the latest victim of gun violence when he was shot and killed outside Vancouver’s International Airport.

Richmond RCMP’s Chief Supt. Will Ng said one of his officers was shot at by someone in the suspect’s vehicle near Sea Island Way and No. 3 Road.

The officer was not hurt and did not fire back, he said, instead ending his pursuit in the interest of public safety.Police were asked if that response was enough to keep the public safe.
Click to play video: 'One dead in a gang-related shooting at YVR' One dead in a gang-related shooting at YVR
One dead in a gang-related shooting at YVR – May 10, 2021

Read more: Man killed outside Vancouver airport is region’s 10th shooting in only 3 weeks

A bullet apparently fired from the suspect’s vehicle breaks the windshield of a Richmond RCMP cruiser. Global News. Global News

 

“When criminals commit crime, they don’t play by the rules. They drive at high rates of speed to try and get away,” McDonald said. “We have a responsibility to everybody.

“Unlike the movies, when bullets start to fly, they eventually stop somewhere. We can’t take that chance to have a gun battle rage through the streets. Every decision we make is based on what impact the situation will have on everybody.”

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McDonald said all police agencies will be meeting with Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth on Tuesday to discuss the situation.

“We will do everything to hit these gangsters at every possible turn,” he said, adding there’s no way of knowing when the gang conflict will end but from a police perspective, it can only end in jail or death for the people involved.

“We are committed and we will be relentless in our hunt,” McDonald said.

When asked which gangs are operating in the Lower Mainland, officials would not identify specific organizations but said there are numerous groups.

“These individuals are, make no mistake about it, vying for control of the drug trade,” McDonald said.

Click to play video: 'Man shot dead at Vancouver International Airport' Man shot dead at Vancouver International Airport
Man shot dead at Vancouver International Airport – May 9, 2021

Read more: Innocent bystander struck by bullet during fatal shooting in Burnaby

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Supt. Graham De La Gorgendiere, acting officer in charge of the Burnaby RCMP, said Monday that police share the public’s anger and frustration.

“What happened this weekend is immensely troubling for all of us and it is simply not acceptable,” he said.

A dedicated gang enforcement team has been operating in Burnaby since January, De La Gorgendiere said.

They work seven days a week and have conducted targeted vehicle checks, seized more than $40,000 in cash, and seized weapons.

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