Friends mourn death of Surrey model, actress

19-year-old SFU student Maple Batalia gunned down at Central City.



A young actress and model from Surrey was shot dead on the third floor of a parkade in Central City near the Simon Fraser University campus early Wednesday morning.

SFU student Maple Batalia, 19, was studying late with friends at SFU Surrey and left for her car after midnight.

Police soon after responded to several 911 calls of “multiple shots fired” in the parkade.

Mounties arrived to find a young woman “suffering from what can only be described as significant and multiple gunshot wounds,” said RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen, spokesman for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

Two uniformed officers did everything they could to save her. She was transferred to hospital where she died.

“Clearly based on the evidence at the scene, this was an obvious homicide,” Thiessen said, adding there are 20 to 25 police officers now working on the case.

Police would not identify the victim, but the father of Batalia confirmed that it was her.

Batalia was a top-12 finalist in Central City Shopping Centre’s 2011 Model Search, the finale of which is scheduled for this Saturday (Oct. 1). She also had a role in the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.

By Wednesday afternoon, friends were posting condolences on social media sites.

“RIP Maple Batalia… one of my good friends…Your kindness, positiveness & beautiful soul will be missed!!” one friend wrote on Twitter.

Another posted “#RIP Maple Batalia, another life with so much promise cut short by a low life with a firearm.”

Batalia had changed her relationship status to “single” on her Facebook site on Sunday. Two friends “liked” that, and she responded “LOLLLL ahahahaha ur soo funni đŸ˜› LOL”

An RIP Maple Batalia site was set up on Facebook Wednesday, and within minutes, quickly had close to 300 people following it.

Maria Poe wrote: “Rest in peace, Maple… I am heartbroken beyond words :((“

Thiessen said there is no evidence to suggest the murder is linked to drugs or organized crime.

He could not say whether the shooting was targeted or not.

“We understand the public may be concerned that we’re not able to provide more information regarding the reasons behind this shooting, but it’s simply too early in the investigation to make any further statements,” said Thiessen.

The university is making counselling  available to any staff or students who need it, according to Don MacLachlan, director of communications for SFU Surrey.

“It was a really bad day for all of us,” MacLachlan said. “If I’m emotional, it’s hardly surprising. One of our students was killed here.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the IHIT tipline at

1-877-551-IHIT(4448).

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com

~with files from Sheila Reynolds

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building at 1485 Fir St. was turned down by council on Monday night. (Contributed rendering)
White Birch developer feels ‘betrayed’ by City of White Rock council

Application for new rental building at 1485 Fir St. turned down by council

Record-setting high jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and attends Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)
Surrey jumper on a high after recruitment by UPenn track team

High jumper Emma de Boer aims to leave Cloverdale for Philadelphia next fall

Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team street check. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP gang enforcement team seizes five vehicles

This was over 13 days, as SGET continues to target gang activity in this city

File photo
Surrey to borrow $150 million for three major recreation projects

That’s for a sports complex in the city centre, a sports and ice complex in Cloverdale and a community centre in Newton

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read