Gursimran Sahota, 24, and Tanvir Khakh, 20, are both charged with first-degree murder. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said both men were known to police.
Gunfire broke out near the Sundial Boutique Hotel in Whistler Village around 12:20 p.m. on Sunday, as the area was packed with shoppers, diners and tourists.
“Everybody was out, beautiful day, the village looked like how it was pre-pandemic basically, so many people,” said witness Rebecca Smith, who described hearing multiple shots fired.
“Moments later, just a huge crowd of people start running away screaming, ‘Shooter, shooter, get out, get out!'”
The shooting left Meninder Dhaliwal and Satindera Gill dead. IHIT said both men were known to police, and that the murders are likely linked to the ongoing regional gang conflict.
Police found a torched vehicle in the 3300 block of Ptarmigan Place, believed to be linked to the shooting.
Investigators later arrested two men in the Squamish area, after setting up a checkpoint on the Sea to Sky Highway.
Dhaliwal was one of 11 men featured in a warning issued by B.C.’s gang-focused Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit last March, stating that they posted a “significant threat to the public” and were “connected to the current spike in violence” at the time.
Doug Spencer, a retired detective with the Vancouver Police Department gang unit, said Dhaliwal was involved with the Brothers Keepers gang, and that his brother was the victim of another public gang hit in Coal Harbour last April.
“Everybody’s shocked, like it’s out in the open in the middle of the day in crowded Whistler — they don’t care,” he said.
“Wherever they find their target, they’ll go get them and they don’t care who is around.”
Anyone with video shot in the area of Sundial Crescent or in the neighbourhood where the burning vehicle was located between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.