Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has confirmed two Surrey teenagers are dead, following a late-nightshooting in South Surrey’s Campbell Heights neighbourhood that police believe was targeted.
Cpl. Frank Jang, at a news conference Tuesday morning, appealed for anyone with information regarding the activities of 16-year-old Jaskarn (Jason) Singh Jhutty and 17-year-old Jaskaran (Jesse) Singh Bhangal, to come forward.
“We’ve seen young victims in the past, but really, they were children,” Jang told Peace Arch News.
The pair – described as high school students who were known to each other but not to police – were found dead just after 10:30 p.m. Monday near 192 Street and 40 Avenue.
“When officers arrived, they found two unresponsive males lying on the road,” Jang told reporters. “The victims had sustained gunshot wounds and were declared dead at scene.”
The discovery came less than an hour after Surrey RCMP were alerted to a burning car in the area of 184 Street and 29A Avenue, and just a half hour before police were notified of a second burned car, at 172 Street and 93 Avenue. The second vehicle was determined to be a Honda Accord, Jang said.
“The two vehicles are very suspicious,” Jang said. “Both happened in kind of a two-hour timeframe.”
Investigators, however, have not conclusively linked the vehicles to the teens’ deaths.
Jang said it is also too early to say if the killings were linked to the April 26 shooting death of 24-year-old Amin Vinepal, a Delta resident whose body was found on a rural stretch of 12 Avenue between 176 Street and 184 Street. In that case, a burning vehicle was also found nearby, at 187 Street and 28 Avenue, and investigators said they believed Vinepal’s death was linked to gang violence in the Lower Mainland.
Jang said “investigators are working hard to determine motive” for the teens’ deaths. There have been no arrests in this week’s case, however, “we’re working on the suspects right now…. But again, it’s a little too early.”
Surrey RCMP and IHIT investigators were still on the scene the next day, and access to 40 Avenue was blocked between 184 and 192 Streets.
Tuesday morning, an RCMP canine unit could also be seen investigating on the usually quiet rural road, located approximately one kilometre west of the Campbell Heights industrial area.
Police investigation at the scene seemed to focus on the shoulder of 40 Avenue. Pylons and evidence markers scattered the road, which was flanked by a heavily treed area and agricultural land.
A witness at the scene early Tuesday told PAN there “appeared to be a body underneath a tarp at the side of the road with a number of pylons around it.”
Another, who reportedly works nearby, told media that Monday evening he heard what he thought was firecrackers, followed by the sound of two cars “roaring by.”
“Six, seven, eight, maybe more, like… a string of firecrackers going off – bang, bang, bang, bang. That’s what I thought it was,” the man said.
It was Surrey’s 22nd recorded shooting so far this year. There were 88 shootings in 2015, 61 in 2016 and 59 in 2017.
Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or email email@example.com. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).