Police released this image in 2015, showing a suspect in the back seat of a Chrysler Sebring aiming a pellet gun out an open window.

Man found not guilty in rash of pellet-gun attacks

Incidents took place across Abbotsford in July 2015

An Abbotsford man who was on trial for 14 offences related to a series of pellet-gun attacks in 2015 has been acquitted of all charges.

Judge Edna Ritchie said Thursday morning in Abbotsford provincial court that she could not find Harpreet Vaid, 23, guilty of any of the offences beyond a reasonable doubt.

“It is probable that Mr. Vaid was involved in the offences but I do not think it is safe to convict Mr. Vaid on the evidence I’ve heard,” she said.

Ritchie said although the evidence presented at trial clearly showed Vaid’s vehicle was used in the attacks, it had not been proved that he was in the car at the time.

Nine people were injured in the incidents, which occurred in Abbotsford on July 26 and 27, 2015.

The random attacks occurred across Abbotsford, with people shot while walking down the street.

“Luckily, no one was shot in the head area, which could well have resulted in blindness or hearing loss,” Ritchie said.

She said the evidence indicated that more than one person was in the vehicle during some of the incidents.

None of the victims were able to definitively identify Vaid as the shooter.

Ritchie said witness descriptions and video evidence led police to determining that a dark-coloured 2006 Chrysler Sebring was used in the attacks, and that the vehicle was owned by Vaid.

She said the car was located by police at a dealership in Surrey, where Vaid had traded it in on July 30, 2015 – after police had issued a photo of the suspect vehicle.

Ritchie said police also confirmed at the time that the car’s taillights and tire rims had been spray-painted.

A search of the vehicle turned up hundreds of BBs and pellets.

Vaid was arrested soon after, and charges were laid in September 2015: seven counts of assault with a weapon and seven counts of discharging a firearm with intent to wound.

Ritchie said the circumstantial evidence presented by Crown included testimony from a neighbour, who heard “popping sounds” on July 27, 2015 and looked outside to see Vaid holding a “gun-shaped object” in his hand.

She said some victims also indicated they had seen a pit bull in the suspect vehicle and, although Vaid did indeed own such a dog, there was no definitive proof that it was his in the car at the time of the shootings.

Ritchie described the attacks as “cowardly” and “senseless.”

“I hope that whoever was involved in these offences has matured enough to realize in hindsight how pathetic their actions were,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley ecologist takes folks on virtual walk along the Houston Trail

Professor explains more about native and non-native plants growing in Derby Reach Regional Park

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

LETTER: Langley couple hanging out in Bali during COVID

There are worse places to be during what one local reader calls his pineapple pandemic

LETTER: In troubling times, it’s nice to share the positives

An unnerved Langley reader wants to tell of a funny and kind business operator

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Canada Day tractor incident kills three children, injures seven in Quebec

The tractor driver has been arrested following the accident

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Most Read