Two people have been charged with first-degree murder in the July 14 shooting of Ripudaman Singh Malik.
Police announced Wednesday morning that Tanner Fox, 21, and Jose Lopez, 23, have both been charged with Malik’s death.
Fox was arrested in Abbotsford on Tuesday and Lopez was arrested in New Westminster the same day, Supt. Mandeep Mooker with IHIT confirmed at a news conference on Wednesday.
Police say the men were arrested without incident at their residences.
Both men are well known to police.
Court records show Fox with convictions for robbery, assault causing bodily harm and aggravated assault dating back to 2019.
Lopez was convicted of assault causing bodily harm with a weapon in 2018, and court records list a long string of other charges from 2021, some of which were stayed and others he has been ordered to stand trial for.
Malik was acquitted in the 1985 Air India terrorist bombings.
The connection between the accused and Malik is not known at this time.
Malik was shot in a Newton neighbourhood of Surrey and later died of his injuries.
“Since our father’s assassination on July 14, our family has been in a state of shock. We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received from the community,” Malik’s son Jaspreet said Wednesday.
“It strikes us as profoundly sad that our father, who dedicated his life to bettering young people and steering them onto the path of being productive members of Canadian society, was taken by two young people who clearly strayed so far from that path.”
Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri were acquitted in 2005 of mass murder and conspiracy charges related to the pair of Air India bombings that killed 331 people, mostly from the Toronto and Vancouver areas.
The attacks are the largest mass killing in Canadian history, and set off an international investigation that ended in just one person being convicted, and multitudes of criticism aimed at the RCMP and federal agencies.
On June 23, 1985, a bomb that had been planted on Air India Flight 182 exploded as the plane was mid-air over the Atlantic Ocean, nearing Ireland. No one survived, including the 268 Canadians aboard.
Two baggage handlers were killed not long after, when a bag exploded at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport as it was being transferred to Air India Flight 301.
Fifteen years later, after the conviction of bomb-maker Inderjit Singh Reyat and the death of Talwinder Singh Parmar, believed to have been the mastermind of the attack, Malik was arrested.
He and Bagri were charged with 329 counts of first-degree murder in the Air India Flight 182 bombing, as well as murder, attempted murder and conspiracy in connection with the Narita airport bombing.
Their nearly 20-month trial ended with an acquittal in 2005, in which a B.C. Supreme Court judge determined the primary witnesses were not credible and the evidence from RCMP and Crown had fallen “markedly short” of the threshold for conviction.