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 😛 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

Just Posted

Hazmat team called to Surrey recycling centre

Witness at scene said several workers reported affects including coughing, headaches and chest tightness

Surrey killer foiled by cops’ suspicion he was underage in a bar

Birinderjeet Singh Bhangu was shot dead outside the Comfort Inn and Suites Hotel on Fraser Highway

Community invited to help with Downtown Surrey BIA’s fence art project

Association is hoping to change the ‘narrative’ for 135A Street with artwork

Blaine railway stop contingent on international support: All Aboard Washington

Non-profit organizers look to residents of Surrey, White Rock and North Whatcom County

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Most Read

l -->