Homicide police have announced the arrest of two individuals in connection with the Nov. 9 home-invasion death of Corey Bennett in South Surrey.
Officers said Friday that one man with “a criminal record dating back to 2000” was arrested Thursday. He remains in custody charged with manslaughter and robbery with a firearm in connection with the incident, in which Bennett was shot.
A second man who was arrested early Friday morning has been charged with second-degree murder and robbery with a firearm.
In releasing the information Friday afternoon, Sgt. Jennifer Pound of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said investigators have been “relentless” in their pursuit of those responsible for Bennett’s death.
Both suspects are last known to reside in Surrey.
Matthew Rene Bernard, 27, and Donald James Chad, 30, were to appear in Surrey Provincial Court today.
In identifying 44-year-old Bennett Thursday as the victim, IHIT said he was known to police “for his significant ties to the drug trade.” He died following an incident police determined was a “targeted home invasion” at a residence in the 2600-block of King George Boulevard.
At about 11:15 p.m. Nov. 9, BC Ambulance and the Surrey Fire Department were called to the home to assist the injured man; RCMP were alerted once the incident was deemed suspicious.
Bennett was transported to hospital, where the father and grandfather was pronounced dead. According to Bennett’s Facebook profile, he was an alumnus of Frank Hurt Secondary.
In recent months, RCMP had been called to the home a number of times, including for a September brawl that resulted in road closures and saw several people taken into custody.
Pound told Peace Arch News Friday that investigators do not believe Bennett’s death is connected to that of a man found dead in a North Surrey home Nov. 18, although the pair did run in similar circles.
Bennett and the second victim – identified as 44-year-old Mark Winston Berry – “have mutual ‘friends’ and acquaintances because they were both engaged in a similar level of the drug trade,” Pound told PAN.
“At this point we can say the two homicides are not connected.”
Berry’s body was located when police responded to a 911 call regarding a disturbance at a home in the 12000-block of 99 Avenue.
His cause of death has not been released, however, police confirm that foul play was a factor and that Berry “had an extensive criminal record dating back to 1987.”