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The man killed in the blatant shooting Thursday night at a busy shopping mall in Burnaby, B.C., has been identified as a 23-year-old with gang affiliations.
The shots rang out shortly after 8:30 p.m. On Thursday, in a public area filled with innocent bystanders, circumstances similar to several of the other recent shootings in the region, including another in Burnaby last weekend that left one person dead and an innocent man injured.
Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley acknowledged that the violence has left many residents nervous, but said the city remains a “safe community.”
“We will not tolerate this. This is not who we are as Canadians,” Hurley said. “This cycle of violence must end. Everyone needs the confidence of knowing that they are safe when shopping, visiting a park or walking our streets.”
The shooting appeared to have occurred in the shopping center parking lot outside the Cactus Club Cafe. Holly Clark, a waitress at the restaurant, described a chaotic scene that erupted after the shots rang out.
“We just hear tables turning and people yelling,” Clark said. “It was really scary. We all crouched down and didn’t know what to do. I thought they were going to shoot me. ”
Broken dishes, broken glass, and fallen furniture were left on the patio as a result.
“You could see everyone in the courtyard jumping the barrier here and just running away and hiding behind the rocks and stones and different trees,” said Amberlynn Hooge, who was inside the restaurant at the time.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said Jaskeert Kalkat was one of three people shot at the Market Crossing shopping complex. The other two, a man and a woman, survived but suffered what authorities described as serious injuries.
“It is still early in the investigation, but we believe all three were targeted in the shooting,” said Sgt. Frank Jang said on Friday.
Kalkat was known to police and investigators believe his gang ties played a role in his murder.
“Is this related to the Lower Continent gang conflict?” Jang said. “The answer is yes, based on the information we have.”
Investigators believe the vehicle was involved in the shooting and asked anyone who captured the leak on dash cam video to contact police.
Jang said the fastest route from Market Crossing to where the vehicle caught fire is to head down Highway 91, turn onto Highway 99, and then head east on 16th Avenue.
“If you were driving that route last night and you have dashcam video … we need you to review that footage and we need you to contact us immediately,” Jang said. “It is crucial evidence and we need it.”
Gang warfare in the Lower Continent has become increasingly blatant, with gangsters shot dead outside, toy stores, recreation centers, and even Vancouver International Airport.
Public Safety Minister and Attorney General Mike Farnworth met with leaders of law enforcement agencies across the region Thursday to identify gaps in the system.
Kalkat, who was born in 1998, was on probation at the time of his death, having been convicted in October of a robbery in Surrey in 2019. He was also convicted of a 2017 robbery in Vancouver that involved other people. of the Brothers Keepers.
They also shot two other people, a man and a woman who were also “known to the police,” said Sgt. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. They were taken to hospital with “serious injuries, but they are expected to survive.”
Postmedia learned that the young woman once briefly worked in an administrative position at the RCMP criminal intelligence center, but she left the job more than a year ago. No one at the RCMP would officially comment on the connection, which was confirmed through sources.
“I understand that there is information circulating on social media, however we do not want to compromise the safety of the victim and we are concerned that providing information that may do so increases their risks,” Jang said.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said Friday that police are doing everything they can to stop the shootings and put those responsible behind bars.
He said he personally would like to see more “name and shame” gang members, both to help police obtain information about them and to better protect the public.
When asked why so many gang killings remain unsolved, Farnworth said: “These are, in many cases, very complex investigations.” In some cases, he said, suspects are killed in retaliation before they can be charged.
“That’s challenging because the person who committed the crime has now become another statistic as well,” he said.
He also said that there has to be “a multiple approach. Obviously, the application is an element. But so is prevention. ”
More people close to those involved should provide information to the police, he said.
“One of the ways that the police can carry out successful trials is when they have information. And that is essential to stop the cycle of violence that we have seen. ”
Police across the region said their gang control units are trying to target those involved in the conflict.