Police have ‘viable suspects’ in B.C. gangster’s 2017 murder

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with the homicide.

  • Dec. 18, 2018 7:30 a.m.

Kamloops This Week

Police have “viable suspects” in the 2017 Kamloops shooting that left a founding member of one of B.C.’s most notorious drug gangs dead, but not enough evidence to lay charges, a judge has been told.

Konaam Shirzad was gunned down outside his Guerin Creek home on the evening of Sept. 21, 2017. The 34-year-old, who owned a North Kamloops gym, was one of the founding members of the Red Scorpions, the gang behind the 2007 Surrey Six slayings in the Lower Mainland.

At the time, witnesses told KTW they heard a number of gunshots, followed by a man screaming “No! No! No!”

In B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with Shirzad’s murder.

In doing so, Wiberg also asked for — and was granted — a sealing order protecting police affidavits containing information about the RCMP investigation into the slaying.

“This is an ongoing investigation that police still have viable suspects, but there isn’t sufficient evidence to lay charges at this point,” Wiberg said.

Konaam Shirzad

Read more: Red Scorpions co-founder killed in Kamloops shooting

Read more: The hunt for Kamloops shooting suspects

Less than three weeks after Shirzad’s death, fellow Red Scorpion Ibrahim Amjad Ibrahim was killed in Richmond. Ibrahim was walking with Shirzad and another man when the trio was ambushed by two men. Ibrahimn was uninjured and the third associate was shot in the ankle.

The Red Scorpions gang was founded in the early 2000s by Shirzad, Michael Le and Matthew Johnston.

Le served three years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges for his part in the Surrey Six murders. Le, 32, plotted the hit of a rival drug dealer that turned into the deadliest gangland massacre in B.C. history, with two innocent passersby executed alongside four gang members in a Surrey high-rise building.

Prosecutors dropped a charge of first-degree murder in exchange for Le’s plea. Court heard Le and Jamie Bacon plotted the murder after Cory Lal, a rival drug dealer, refused to pay a $100,000 tax to the Red Scorpions.

Johnston is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder after he was convicted in 2014 for his role in the Surrey Six plot, while Bacon’s charges of murder and conspiracy, some of which were stayed due to delay, remain before the courts.

Security cameras caught these two men walking toward Konaam Shirzad’s Guerin Creek home shortly before he was shot and killed on Sept. 21, 2017. Police have yet to make an arrest in the murder.

Shirzad had a lengthy criminal record. In 2005, he was sentenced to more than two years in prison after ordering a hit from behind bars. He had also served time for attempted murder and various weapons offences.

Shirzad was with two other people when he was shot to death outside his Kamloops home. One of them, 30-year-old Ibrahim Amjad Ibrahim, was found shot to death in a Richmond park three weeks after Shirzad was killed.

Eight months before he was slain, police raided Shirzad’s gym.

Shirzad told KTW police did not find anything illegal in his gym because he was no longer part of the lifestyle that landed him behind bars.

“My past got brought up, but I’ve been doing a lot of good lately,” Shirzad said.

At an October 2010 court hearing, Shirzad claimed he had left the gang life.

After being sentenced to three years in jail for weapons offences, Shirzad told the court: “I see this as a learning curve. Hopefully, when my time is done, I’ll never have to come back to court again. I’ve pretty much learned my lesson.”

Read more: Suspect in assault of Kamloops Mountie arrested

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