Families of fatally shot Surrey male teens plead for help solving double homicide – Straight.com

Families of fatally shot Surrey male teens plead for help solving double homicide - Straight.com
He was just a child: Families plead for information on anniversary of Surrey teens double murder
The victims were 16-year-old Jaskarn (Jason) Singh Jhutty and 17-year-old Jaskaran (Jesse) Singh Bhangal. They attended Frank Hurt Secondary School and were in grades 10 and 11. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is holding a news conference on Tuesday to provide an update on the case. Family members of the two boys are expected to be there. 

Two burned-out cars were found the same night as the killings that police said may be linked. They're still looking for witnesses.

Here is Cpl. Jang with @HomicideTeam explaining some of the circumstances. They believe the murders of both teens were targeted and gang related. Neither Jason Jhutty, 16, or Jesse Bhangal, 17, have been found to have any kind of gang or criminal connections. @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/aTeLCH3X8p

The young ages of the teenagers led to some significant changes in the city, says Gurpreet Singh Sahota. 

Families of slain teens plead for information a year after their deaths

Following the teenagers' murder, Sahota and a few others founded Wake Up Surrey and organized a protest outside Surrey City Hall, which was attended by thousands who spoke out against gang violence, including grieving family members of the two teens.

"He was only 16-years-old, he was just a child," she said through tears. "No parent should ever have to spending their lives wondering what could have possibly happened in their childs final moments."

"They were teenagers and not their time to go. Everyone is worried if this thing can happen to a 16 and 17-year-old, it can happen to 15, 14 or 13. Have to stop it here," he said. 

After a year of investigation, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said it still has not secured any charges or made any arrests in the case, but they have now revealed they believe the murders are linked to gangs.

Sahota also believes the teenagers' murder changed the course of the municipal election in Surrey and led the city to transition to a local police force instead of the RCMP. 

"They were not criminals. Theres nothing to show that," said Cpl. Frank Jang with IHIT. "Theres no linkages we have been able to find in the last year to associate them to any sort of gangs."

"People were thinking the previous council was not sincere and not doing enough. People need change. That's why they're asking for even police change," he said. 

On Monday, the City of Surrey announced its plans to transition to an independent police force by April 21, 2021. 

The report says a municipal force would cost $192.5 million in 2021 — a 10.9 per cent increase over the projected costs of keeping the RCMP — and would have 805 police officers and 20 community safety personnel.

Currently, Surrey RCMP has an authorized strength of 843 police officers with 51 vacancies that have been backfilled.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

The families of two murdered Surrey teens have made an emotional appeal for information about the boys’ deaths.

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the deaths of 17-year-old Jaskaran Jesse Bhangal and 16-year-old Jaskarn Jason Jhutty, who were found fatally shot in the rural 18700 block of 40th Avenue.

A burning vehicle was found in the area of 14 Street and 29A Avenue shortly afterwards, and a second burning vehicle was found that night in the area of 177 Street and 93 Avenue.

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The pair was last seen alive playing basketball with a group at Georges Vanier Elementary in Surrey, and on Tuesday, Jesse’s sister pleaded with anyone who knows what happened afterwards to speak with investigators.

On June 4th, 2018, investigators say the bodies of 17-year-old Jaskaran (Jesse) Singh Bhangal and 16-year-old Jaskarn (Jason) Singh Jhutty were found in the rural area of 192 Street and 40th Avenue. The teens were last seen playing basketball with a group of friends at George Vanier Elementary.

“We don’t know why this happened, who did it and what motive they had behind it — which are all questions that still go unanswered today. No family should have to experience this kind of heartache,” she said.

“When the police came knocking at our door in the early hours of the morning, it left us in utter shock,” Sharon Bhangal, Jesse Bhangal’s sister, said on Tuesday. “We could not comprehend what had happened, and our family hasn’t been the same since.”

“I didn’t just lose my baby brother, I lost a piece of myself I can never get back. I lost my only sibling, and my parents lost their only son.”

Pawan Jhutti, Jason’s older sister, said the family is still trying to understand how the teen became the victim of a brutal murder.

“In the past year we’ve garnered significant evidence, information. We’ve spoken with a number of people and we also believe that there are people out there with information — some with very intimate knowledge of what happened,” he added.

“He was just a child. No parent should ever have to spend their life wondering what could have possibly happened in their child’s final moments,” she said.

“Although my brother and I were two years apart, both of our birthdays were in January. For the past 17 years, we had celebrated our birthdays together. This time around, he was not here to celebrate it. My birthday will never be the same,” Sharon said.

“Someone out there knows what happened to Jason. They know why he didn’t come home.”

“Education and knowledge against drugs and gangs were my parents’ number one concern and priority,” Pawan said, adding her brother had no criminal record or any interaction with police.

Police believe the boys’ deaths were targeted and linked in some way to the region’s gang conflict but reiterated that neither teen had a criminal record nor any known interactions with police.

She described her brother as a generally “happy kid,” who had “so much love to give.” He was also remembered as an “extraordinary individual with a bright future.”

That fact has made the mystery of the teens’ deaths even more difficult for the families to bear, Jhutti added.

“Gang violence has been a topic in our home since my brothers were in high school. Education against drugs and gangs were my parents’ number 1 concern and priority,” she said.

“Jason had no criminal record or even interactions with police. It seemed as if we were doing everything right as parents and older siblings.”

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has said the deaths were believed to be targeted, and on Tuesday, IHIT Cpl. Frank Jang reiterated that belief.

READ MORE: I cant live without my baby — mom grieves Surrey teen killed in targeted shooting

“He was a gentle soul — I always thought he was ahead of his time,” she added. “Everyone always had something to learn from him.

Cpl. Frank Jang with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said that police have continued to face roadblocks when dealing with people who may have information about the case.

He said police are pleading with people who they know have “intimate knowledge” of the boys’ final hours to share that information with investigators.

“It only takes one or two phone calls from the right person with the right information to further a homicide investigation. We urge anyone with information … to please come forward and help us solve the murder of two teenage boys,” Jang said.

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