The man shot and killed last week was an unintended target, police say.
Jatinder “Michael” Sandhu was sitting in a car with a friend on Saturday (July 23) at about 10:20 p.m. in the 14300-block of 90A Avenue when another car pulled up and opened fire.
Sandhu was fatally struck by a bullet and his friend was injured. He is in hospital and is expected to survive.
Neither of the two victims are believed to be part of the recent drug turf dispute that has been responsible for a majority of the 49 shootings so far this year in Surrey.
“Mr. Sandhu does not possess a criminal record nor was he believed to be involved in the current conflict,” Staff Sgt. Jennifer Pound of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said in a release this week. “The driver of the vehicle, who also does not possess a criminal record, remains in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.”
Mayor Linda Hepner said Wednesday she was mortified to hear someone not involved in the criminal lifestyle has been killed in the gun violence.
“It was part of the worst nightmare conversations that I’ve had in the past that some innocent would be involved,” Hepner said. “I have the greatest of sympathy for the family suffering a loss.”
There have been no special instructions to the police after the fatal shooting, Hepner said.
“The RCMP are doing a yeoman’s job of gathering the types of evidence that we need,” Hepner said. “In God’s good time, all of those (responsible) will pay a price.”
A suspect was seen fleeing the scene in a grey or silver Infiniti SUV (unknown year) and IHIT is asking for public assistance in finding it.
Police are classifying this as a targeted shooting and the result of the current drug conflict in Surrey, even though the two victims are not likely the intended targets.
“Police would like to remind individuals that just because you’re not directly involved in criminal activity or violence as a result of conflict, does not mean that you’re immune to the associated risks,” Pound said. “If you have friends or family members involved in this lifestyle, you could very well become inadvertent collateral damage to these violent disputes.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT tip-line at 1-877-551-4448, or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go to www.solvecrime.ca to remain anonymous.