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Shots fired in neighbourhood dispute

A neighbourhood dispute is the reason a 20-year-old man shot at his neighbour and caused a police stand off in south Aldergrove on Monday night, says the stepfather of the victim.

Langley RCMP confirm that dozens of police and the Emergency Response Team were called to the 1900-block of 269A Avenue late Monday night after shots were fired.

The man wasn’t injured but the shooter barricaded himself inside a home around midnight and refused to come out. The ERT team was able to get the man out and arrest him without incident around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, confirmed Langley RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Holly Marks.

“There are some mental health issues involved,” she said.

Langley RCMP said the victim approached his neighbour shortly after midnight to discuss some property damage that had occurred.

After a short discussion, the victim of the property damage returned to his own home. Shortly after that, a number of shots were fired. No one was hit by the discharged bullets, said police.

The shooting was a neighbourhood dispute which has been escalating, pitting a family of chicken farmers against area residents, said the victim’s stepfather.

“The young man who fired rounds at my stepson’s truck is among the neighbours who are taking issue with us expanding our chicken barns,” said Cory Spitters.

The victim runs a neighbouring poultry farm in the family business. Chicken farms do deal with manure, smells and use large fans for air in the barns.

Spitters has a large poultry operation along with his stepson on two neighbouring properties that has been behind the anger of some of the south Aldergrove neighbours for some time. But a recent expansion, adding three new large barns onto another property on 20 Avenue, has raised the neighbours’ ire even more, and there have been arguments, he said.

According to Langley RCMP, the serious crime section is investigating this incident and may recommend a number of charges against the 20-year-old.

In the meantime, Langley RCMP’s Victim Services is offering support to the family members involved.

“These people have to understand they are living in a farming community — get used to it. If you come in here and build a fancy home and then expect us to not farm, you are very mistaken,” Spitters said.

He claims RCMP and bylaw officers, along with Department of Fisheries and Environment officers, have been called out to their farm by the neighbours on numerous occasions.

“We are fully legitimate. We are abiding by all the legislation. We just want to live in peace and have the right to farm. I’ll sit down with them and we will try to work on what we can do. But if these neighbours choose to intimidate us, we will push back.”

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