Two men in their 20s were shot in Langley City just before midnight on Tuesday, one was pronounced dead at the scene while the other was taken to hospital and is expected to survive his injuries.
RCMP were called to the area of 207 Street and 53A Avenue around 11:30 p.m. where a 22-year-old man was found shot and killed in a vehicle while another man suffered gun shot wounds.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is now investigating.
“It is very early in the investigation but this has all the hallmarks of a targeted hit. Our victim was known to police and we believe his murder may be linked to the drug trade,” said Sgt. Frank Jang with IHIT.
Sgt Frank Jang updating on latest homicide in Langley, BC https://t.co/e35eAOVihi
— IHIT (@HomicideTeam) January 27, 2021
At the scene a vehicle could been seen covered with a tarp, with bullet holes in the windshield.
Investigators have placed dozens of yellow evidence markers on the ground near the vehicle.
The vehicle is in the middle of the street in front of the offices of the Langley Community Services Society (LCSS) and in a residential neighbourhood of apartments.
Area resident Ross Pearson heard at least two “rapid bursts” of gunfire.
“It was hard to count them, but I’d say there had to be five or six shots at least in each burst, that I heard,” Pearson shared.
“It’s usually a nice quiet area, maybe a homeless person going down the street with a shopping cart, but that’s it,” he said of his City neighbourhood.
Meanwhile, a burned truck was located in Surrey around 11:52 p.m. in the area of 180th Street and 20th Avenue near Redwood Park, just 14 minutes after the shooting in Langley, said Jang.
“At this point we’re treating it as suspicious given the close proximity, time and distance, to our homicide and our investigators are looking at that vehicle,” said Jang.
Here's the vehicle that was burned out at 20 Ave and 180 St.
Incident being may be related to Langley homicide pic.twitter.com/3y8CroFxNC
— Aaron Hinks (@aaron_hinks) January 27, 2021
The attack is the fourth shooting in 11 days in Langley.
The other incidents included an apparent gun battle between speeding cars in Langley City and Brookswood on Saturday, Jan. 16, a shooting in a Langley City parking garage on Monday, Jan. 18 that left a 27-year-old man with critical injuries, and a shooting at a car in Willoughby that left a victim with minor injuries due to broken glass.
Jang could not say whether this murder was linked to any of those other shootings, but said investigators would be considering that as they moved forward.
He urged anyone who has video surveillance, cellphone footage, or dashcam footage of the incident to contact IHIT or the Langley RCMP.
There appeared to have been a significant number of bullets fired, but Jang could not say exactly what kind of firearm IHIT believes may have been used.
He said investigators are canvassing the whole neighbourhood to see if any stray shots hit other buildings in the area, including the LCSS offices or the residential apartments and townhouses that line the street nearby.
“This has to stop,” said Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek.
She said she was obviously concerned with the gunfire, particularly as the fatal shooting took place in a residential area.
“I trust that the police are doing everything they can to figure out what happened,” van den Broek said.
— Joti Grewal (@JotiGrewal_) January 27, 2021
Mayor Jack Froese of Langley Township urged anyone involved in the gang lifestyle to get out and avail themselves of the help that is available to do so.
He said that these waves of violence have struck the Lower Mainland before.
“Innocent people have been killed,” and there’s always the fear that another innocent bystander might die in one of these incidents, Froese said.
Langley Community Services Society had to shut down all programs at its hub at 53A Avenue for the day as the whole block was cordoned off by police, said LCSS executive director Sanjeev Nand.
“This shooting has really impacted our service delivery here at the main site,” Nand said.
None of the in-person services there would be available on Wednesday. Staff were doing what work they could from home.
Nand said that the impact of the attack, by shutting down LCSS for the day, is indirectly harming some of the most vulnerable people in Langley.