The latest fatal shooting in the Lower Mainland has been linked to the region’s escalating gang activity, bringing the number of victims in the conflict to five in the past six weeks.
Fatal Abbotsford shooting: Nurse saw victim lying in pool of blood, tried to save him
The shooting happened in Abbotsford near an elementary school, which was closed for the Remembrance Day statutory holiday, and left a 19-year-old man dead.
Emergency services responded to reports of a shooting at 3:30 p.m. on Monday at the intersection of Simpson and Ross roads. Abbotsford police found the young man suffering from a gunshot wound. He was flown to hospital by helicopter, where he died.
Friends have identified the victim online as Jagvir Malhi, an Abbotsford resident and graduate of W.J. Mouat Secondary.
It’s a shooting that homicide officers said showed “a blatant disregard for the safety of the community. We are fortunate that school was not in session.”
Jagvir Malhi has been identified by friends as victim of a fatal shooting Monday in Abbotsford. Facebook / PNG
Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said that when they happen, these kinds of violent incidents affect the whole region.
“Not just our community, every community is in shock when these things happen,” Braun said. “I don’t think that anyone feels this level of violence is OK in our community or anywhere else.”
Members of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team and the Abbotsford Police Department continued to work the case on Tuesday. No further details were released.
ABBOTSFORD HOMICIDE: Work continues for #IHIT and @AbbyPoliceDept detectives this morning after a 19-yr-old man was killed yesterday in the area of Simpson Rd and Ross Rd at 3:30pm. No media availability. Got info? Call #IHIT or @SolveCrime
It was the second fatal shooting in Abbotsford in less than a month, and the eighth homicide in the Lower Mainland in the past six weeks. Five of those killings are believed to be related to the gang conflict.
The first happened on the night of Oct. 3, when 19-year-old Varinderpal Singh Gill was shot and killed in the parking lot of The Junction Shopping Centre in Mission. The teen was the subject of an Abbotsford Police public warning after they felt his presence in public created a serious risk to public safety because of his involvement in the gang conflict.
A week later, on the afternoon of Oct. 11, 30-year-old Sumeet Randhawa was shot in the 6700-block of 130th Street in Surrey. He was known to police and the shooting is believed to be related to the gang war.
Again in Abbotsford, Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside the front door of a bank in the 32000-block of South Fraser Way on the evening of Oct. 18. His brother, Gavinder Grewal, was a leader of the Brothers’ Keepers gang who was murdered in North Vancouver last December.
Finally, on Nov. 9, a 22-year-old man was found dead outside a home in the Newton area of Surrey. He had been shot, and it is believed he was targeted as part of the ongoing gang conflict.
A spokesperson for the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, B.C.’s gang task force, did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, police said there was a new wave of gang violence washing over the Lower Mainland, involving both younger players and those who have criminal links that go back years.
“When young men are shot and killed it’s tragic, and what the families go through I can only empathize with them — it has to be terrible,” Braun said.
A 19-year-old student has died despite the efforts of an off-duty nurse who saw the injured man lying in a pool of blood and tried to save his life.
The nurse was driving through the intersection of Ross and Simpson Roads in Abbotsford at about 3:30 p.m. Monday when he noticed the victim on the ground. Richard Tarenta told CTV News his first thought was to help.
He pulled over and began CPR, continuing the effort to save the mans life until paramedics reached the scene. Tarenta did everything he could to keep the man alive, but said the victim had been shot in the back and the head.
"Ive seen plenty but nothing like this. My first gunshot situation, especially out in the real world, so to speak," Tarenta said.
"When you see a gunshot wound to the head, its kind of hard to imagine a positive outcome after that."
Paramedics took over, working on the man for some time as a group of distraught people who may have known the victim looked on. He was rushed to hospital in an air ambulance, but died a short time later.
Police remained at the scene most of the night, focusing part of their investigation on a white vehicle near the intersection where the victim was found.
Officials have not provided the victims identity, but Indo-Canadian media have identified him as Jagvir Malhi, a student at the University of the Fraser Valley.
"This shooting occurred near a public school, a blatant disregard for the safety of the community," IHIT Cpl. David Lee said in a statement Tuesday.
Lee said investigators believe the shooting was not random, and is connected to the ongoing gang conflict in B.C.s Lower Mainland. They did not say whether they believe it is tied to any specific shootings in the area recently, including a drive-by in Surrey that happened just hours before the 19-year-old was shot.
A 34-year-old educational assistant who died following an SUV crash in Burnaby, B.C. last week suffered wounds that were “indicative of foul play,” according to homicide investigators. 1