What appears to be a targeted shooting of three men at a busy Surrey athletic park has resulted in two deaths.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is urging witnesses to come forward with any information that could be related to the Saturday (July 30) afternoon fatal shooting at South Surrey Athletic Park.
Police said in a statement issued over the long weekend that officers were called to the park Saturday where they found three males suffering from gun shot wounds.
One of the men died at the scene, while two others were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where the second victim died.
Police say they believe the shooting was targeted and there is no further risk to the public.
Investigators are working to confirm the identities of the victims and any connections to the Lower Mainland gang conflict.
“The onset of any investigation is critical as we move swiftly to secure time-sensitive and perishable evidence,” says Sgt. Timothy Pierotti of IHIT.
“We are appealing to anyone with dash cam video to secure the footage and to contact us immediately.”
The large park includes multiple sports fields, the four-diamond Softball City complex, an indoor soccer training centre, recreational centre, arena, playground and spray park. It is typically one of the busiest areas of the Semiahmoo Peninsula, especially on a summer long weekend. Last weekend, Softball City – which is located at the north end of the athletic park – was hosting women’s master softball provincials, which brought hundreds of people to the area.
South Surrey and White Rock residents shared their fears and frustrations on Peace Arch News’ Facebook page about the very public act of violence.
“Seems like a shooting everyday now,” commented Jess Goldie.
“And this one in a busy public park in broad daylight on a Saturday with probably hundreds of kids and families around. This is not ok. It is time for us citizens, police, government and everyone in the community to fight back against the rampant gun violence! We need to do something. This is getting out of control. And way too scary.”
This incident was potentially traumatizing for the witnesses, Goldie added.
“I’ve lived here for 39 years and you’d hear of a shooting in the lower mainland maybe a couple times a year. Now it’s literally every couple days. Makes me want to leave the town I grew up in,” Goldie said.
“People ask ‘How can this happen?’ First place you look is our revolving door justice system,” Bill Farrand commented.
–The Canadian Press, with files from Sobia Moman and Nick Greenizan
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