The two teenage victims of Monday’s double-murder in South Surrey were students at different schools in the district, officials have confirmed.
Doug Strachan, spokesman for the Surrey School District, told Peace Arch News Wednesday morning that he would not identify which schools Jaskarn Singh Jhutty and Jaskaran Singh Bhangal attended but acknowledged reports that associated the Grade 10 and Grade 11 students with Frank Hurt Secondary.
“I know in this day and age, words can get out,” Strachan said. “There’s more than one school affected. We haven’t identified the schools, and we have the supports in place at more than one school.”
Jhutty, 16, and Bhangal, 17, were shot to death on a rural South Surrey road – 40 Avenue, near 192 Street – around 10:30 p.m. Monday.
Police responding to the scene found “two unresponsive males” with gunshot wounds, Cpl. Frank Jang, spokesman for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said Tuesday.
Two burning vehicles found that same night – one 45 minutes before the killings and the other about 30 minutes after – are considered “very suspicious,” Jang said.
Strachan told PAN in an earlier interview that there was “obviously considerable grief and shock” over the deaths.
Wednesday, he said the district is working to ensure impacted students and staff have access to any support they need.
“It’s a focus on recognition of the need to grieve as well as the shock by the circumstances, and putting in place (supports) to ensure that students and staff have a place they can go… whatever support they may need,” he said.
“Really, the professionals we have are guided by the need. The district counsellors are really at the schools’ disposal. Certainly, they were there yesterday.”
Strachan said the incidence of sudden or violent deaths involving Surrey students is not a situation the district deals with on a regular basis. In his 15 years with the district, there have been just “a handful,” he said.
“Just the size of the district and the number of students we have… it’s unfortunate, but it’s occurred,” he said.