Shooting in Surrey leaves a 22-year-old man dead. (Shane MacKichan photo)

Shooting in Surrey reveals tension over city’s plan to replace RCMP

Mounties say a 22-year-old man died in what is believed to be a targeted shooting with gang-conflict ties

The latest shooting death in Surrey, B.C., has uncovered signs of tension over the city’s decision to replace the RCMP with its own police force.

Mounties say a 22-year-old man died in what is believed to be a targeted shooting early Friday, and it appears to be linked to the region-wide gang conflict.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum released a statement saying the death is “yet another example of the ongoing trauma and fear that are being inflicted on the communities, residents and families of Surrey.”

One of the mayor’s election promises was to get rid of the RCMP in favour of a municipal force, and McCallum said council is moving rapidly on that front.

The mayor said he’s “dismayed” by the resistance from the provincial level and he urged Premier John Horgan to remove any roadblocks to help the transition proceed.

RCMP Deputy Commission Brenda Butterworth-Carr then issued a statement in response to McCallum’s comments, saying as citizens of the region they, too, are alarmed when there is gang violence in our streets.

“Statements like this risk undermining public trust and confidence in police,” she said. “Any erosion of public trust and confidence challenges our ability to solve complex cases with assistance from people who are often reluctant to participate in the first place.”

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth also responded to McCallum’s claims in a statement, saying the government is working with Surrey on its policing plan.

READ MORE: Surrey shooting being politicized

READ MORE: Surrey crime stats so far this year mirror 2017’s numbers

“No one is putting up any roadblocks,” said Farnworth. “We are prepared to work with the mayor. He has to be willing to work too. A new police force isn’t created over the weekend but the province is committed to working with the city as they move forward.”

The minister said the government wants to make sure a strong plan is in place that ensures people in Surrey have policing they can be confident in.

The government has invested in anti-gang programs in Surrey and enhanced policing and will continue to work to ensure people feel safe, he said.

Premier John Horgan said there is a “serious issue” with gang shootings in the Lower Mainland and the province wants to address that. He said the province would work with McCallum when the mayor brings forward a plan.

“We need to have a plan. You can’t just get in front of a microphone and say, ‘Why haven’t you fixed this?’ It takes work and he knows that full well.”

Butterworth-Carr said their department is working with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team to find out who murdered the young man.

She said she wants to reassure the public that their officers, the integrated policing teams and independent policing forces will work diligently to maintain public safety.

“Until Surrey RCMP is no longer the contracted police service, our employees must be allowed to and will continue to police safely and effectively. I will not allow public confidence in policing to be undermined or eroded,” she concluded.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Winter night’s delight at festival this Friday

Annual Snowflake Festival at Kinsmen Beach January 18th

Hurtling down the world’s mountains

Invermere’s Ben Thomsen having a stellar ski season

Mountainfilm on Tour returns

Event runs two nights this year, Feb 8-9th

Students lobby for a rainbow crosswalk

Council agrees to proposal for painted crosswalk at 13th Ave. and 13th St. intersection

Home values rise in Columbia Valley

30% rise in Canal Flats; 10% in Invermere

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read