A West Kelowna man with criminal ties has survived a second assassination attempt on his life in six months, police confirmed on Sunday.
Kyle Gianis, 37, was treated for non-life threatening injuries after a shooting outside the Zabb Thai Restaurant on Pandosy Street Saturday evening and has since been released from the hospital.
The second victim, a 25-year-old Surrey man, remains in hospital with what are believed to be life-threatening injuries.
“We have reason to believe this was a targeted attack on these two men,” said Insp. Beth McAndie of the Kelowna RCMP.
Kelowna RCMP said Mounties were called to the area of Pandosy Street and KLO Road just before 7 p.m. for a report of shots fired.
When officers arrived, they discovered the two men suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.
“Because of his criminal activities and associates, Mr. Gianis poses a threat to our community and the public in general, and we are putting all our resources into investigating this newest incident,” McAndie said.
Witnesses reported a man fleeing the scene in a silver SUV.
No arrests have been made.
“While investigating the scene of the shooting, frontline officers located what is believed to be an undetonated improvised explosive device,” said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy.
“Police immediately cordoned off the area. It will remain closed until officers with the RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit have safely dealt with the device.
“The investigation is still in its early stages and officers will be in the area for an undetermined period of time.”
Gianis was targeted in a shooting outside Kelowna’s Global Fitness Centre in March. He survived.
Police said no arrests have been made in that targeted shooting.
Gang expert Doug Spencer described Gianis as an “enforcer” well known in the gang world.
“In fact, when I found out through social media he had a business going up in Kelowna, I actually warned them that if people find out where he is, he is going to get it,” he said.
As for the gun violence playing out on Kelowna streets…
“Kelowna is a gateway for the Vancouver gangsters to deal all across Calgary, Edmonton, the Prairies. It’s a meeting point for a lot of these guys,” he said.
According to the Vancouver Sun, Gianis survived a 2017 gangland hit in Langley that left his friend Tyler Pastuck dead.
In 2018, he was hunted again, but the assassin went to the wrong house and killed Surrey nurse Paul Bennett, a family man and hockey coach who lived nearby, the newspaper reported.
Kelowna RCMP are urging witnesses to come forward. Those with knowledge of the shooting are asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.
Tipsters can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or by leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net