Homicide investigators are reaching out to witnesses after a brazen “targeted hit” left one man dead at a Clayton Heights gas station.
A Surrey man in his late-20s was gunned down while sitting in a black Mercedes-Benz G-Class vehicle at a gas pump in the 18600-block of Fraser Highway Saturday at approximately 6 p.m.
The windshield of the vehicle, which was eventually covered with a tarp by the RCMP, had at least eight bullet holes in it.
According to a witness, a masked suspect reportedly approached the SUV and fired up to 10 shots before running from the scene.
Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) Sgt. Frank Jang spoke to media Sunday morning and said police have identified the victim.
Police are not releasing his identity, as some of his immediate family members have not yet been informed of his death, Jang said.
“This does have the earmarks of a targeted hit,” Jang said. “At this point, I can only share with you that he was known to police.”
A number of times during the press conference, Jang stressed how important it is for witnesses – or people who were near the scene and saw something suspicious – to contact police and share that information.
“The first day or two – the first 24 hours, 48 hours – is so crucial to any homicide investigation. That’s really when things are happening, that’s when information is coming in. One or two calls from somebody who saw (something), perhaps for them it was nothing, but for us it could be everything. That’s the message this morning, you must, you must reach out to us.”
Jang said, at this point, police are not releasing a description of the suspect or suspects.
“We are still getting information coming in, even as I speak this morning. I don’t want to influence, taint, potential witness statements. If you saw anyone suspicious, say, someone running across the street. That’s very important around 6 p.m. after shots ring out.”
Following the shooting, a woman who was nearby the crime scene reported seeing a suspect on Twitter.
“Heard these shots. Saw the masked, dark-clothed suspect run across the street. Went grocery shopping while police arrived en masse, then had to get permission to remove my car from behind police tape. This is too close to home for my comfort,” @celtenouveau tweeted.
Dash cam video is also important for investigators, Jang said, adding that the area of the shooting is quite busy.
“Presumably, there was a lot of people around going to dinner, filling up gas, walking their kids. So, if you did see or hear something, it’s so imperative that you reach out to us.”
IHIT encourages anyone with information to contact them at 1-877-551-4448. To make an anonymous report, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.