Police have ‘viable suspects’ in B.C. gangster’s 2017 murder

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with the homicide.

  • Dec. 18, 2018 7:30 a.m.

Kamloops This Week

Police have “viable suspects” in the 2017 Kamloops shooting that left a founding member of one of B.C.’s most notorious drug gangs dead, but not enough evidence to lay charges, a judge has been told.

Konaam Shirzad was gunned down outside his Guerin Creek home on the evening of Sept. 21, 2017. The 34-year-old, who owned a North Kamloops gym, was one of the founding members of the Red Scorpions, the gang behind the 2007 Surrey Six slayings in the Lower Mainland.

At the time, witnesses told KTW they heard a number of gunshots, followed by a man screaming “No! No! No!”

In B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with Shirzad’s murder.

In doing so, Wiberg also asked for — and was granted — a sealing order protecting police affidavits containing information about the RCMP investigation into the slaying.

“This is an ongoing investigation that police still have viable suspects, but there isn’t sufficient evidence to lay charges at this point,” Wiberg said.

Konaam Shirzad

Read more: Red Scorpions co-founder killed in Kamloops shooting

Read more: The hunt for Kamloops shooting suspects

Less than three weeks after Shirzad’s death, fellow Red Scorpion Ibrahim Amjad Ibrahim was killed in Richmond. Ibrahim was walking with Shirzad and another man when the trio was ambushed by two men. Ibrahimn was uninjured and the third associate was shot in the ankle.

The Red Scorpions gang was founded in the early 2000s by Shirzad, Michael Le and Matthew Johnston.

Le served three years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges for his part in the Surrey Six murders. Le, 32, plotted the hit of a rival drug dealer that turned into the deadliest gangland massacre in B.C. history, with two innocent passersby executed alongside four gang members in a Surrey high-rise building.

Prosecutors dropped a charge of first-degree murder in exchange for Le’s plea. Court heard Le and Jamie Bacon plotted the murder after Cory Lal, a rival drug dealer, refused to pay a $100,000 tax to the Red Scorpions.

Johnston is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder after he was convicted in 2014 for his role in the Surrey Six plot, while Bacon’s charges of murder and conspiracy, some of which were stayed due to delay, remain before the courts.

Security cameras caught these two men walking toward Konaam Shirzad’s Guerin Creek home shortly before he was shot and killed on Sept. 21, 2017. Police have yet to make an arrest in the murder.

Shirzad had a lengthy criminal record. In 2005, he was sentenced to more than two years in prison after ordering a hit from behind bars. He had also served time for attempted murder and various weapons offences.

Shirzad was with two other people when he was shot to death outside his Kamloops home. One of them, 30-year-old Ibrahim Amjad Ibrahim, was found shot to death in a Richmond park three weeks after Shirzad was killed.

Eight months before he was slain, police raided Shirzad’s gym.

Shirzad told KTW police did not find anything illegal in his gym because he was no longer part of the lifestyle that landed him behind bars.

“My past got brought up, but I’ve been doing a lot of good lately,” Shirzad said.

At an October 2010 court hearing, Shirzad claimed he had left the gang life.

After being sentenced to three years in jail for weapons offences, Shirzad told the court: “I see this as a learning curve. Hopefully, when my time is done, I’ll never have to come back to court again. I’ve pretty much learned my lesson.”

Read more: Suspect in assault of Kamloops Mountie arrested

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Vancouver Police were at a White Rock home Oct. 20 to conduct a search warrant. (Aaron Hinks photo)
ERT response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s COVID-19 case count exceeds 1,800

About 800 new cases in September

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Most Read