KELOWNA (NEWS1130) – One of BC’s most infamous gangsters has been shot and killed in Kelowna. News1130 was first to tell you that Jonathan Bacon, head of the Red Scorpions gang, was gunned down outside a hotel.
Today, investigators are still at a very active crime scene outside the Delta Grand in Kelowna.
Around 3 p.m. on Sunday a gunman opened up with a semi-automatic weapon on a white Porsche SUV. Inside sources tell News1130 that Bacon was killed. Five other people were hurt, including two women and a member of the Hell’s Angels.
“We cannot confirm any rumours. We do not have any information at this point to be able to confirm it. As I said before, a lot of the information we do have at this point has not yet been confirmed and cannot yet be stated as fact,” says Constable Steve Holmes.
Police say the gunman took off in a green SUV.
“The length is wide open with respect to this investigation. We’re looking into a lot of possible scenarios and any avenue that comes to us. Of course, a lot of this comes to us through looking through video, interviewing witnesses. Clearly this is a very public thing,” adds Holmes.
No arrests have been made yet.
Public not at risk
Police don’t think the general public is at risk after yesterday’s shooting, but with the latest gangland shooting, many are wondering what’s next.
Paladin Security COO Leo Knight says with Bacon gone, more changes are to come in BC’s gang world. “You’ll see somebody else move up into control in that territory.”
He says other Canadian cities have gang problems and have come up with a way to handle criminals. “Montreal Police have a wonderful phrase that they use: ‘The gangland settling of accounts.’ And really what it is is a struggle for control.”
The experts say retaliation is inevitable as rivals look to press any advantage in the $10 billion illegal drug trade. Michael Chettleburgh is author of Young Thugs: Inside the Dangerous World of Canadian Street Gangs.
He says it is no surprise an alleged Hell’s Angel was caught up in the shooting.
“A gang like the Red Scorpions or a rival gang like the UN Soldiers are mid-level gangs. We know, even at the street level, the youth gangs have more and more collaborative relationships with the serious gangsters, those being traditional organized crime like the HA, the Asian triads, what have you.”
Chettleburgh adds groups like the Hell’s Angels are the wholesale suppliers of drugs, and to protect themselves from police they recruit younger, eager gangsters to do their dirty work at the street level.
Hospital in lockdown
Following the mass shooting, Vancouver General Hospital was in lockdown as of midnight Sunday until early Monday morning.
RCMP Inspector Bryon Massie says a patient with a known gang affiliation was being treated there and the lockdown was to prevent any associates from gathering at the hospital. He wouldn’t confirm if that person was connected to the shooting.
Mounties are expected to update the media this afternoon and they’re asking that if anyone has pictures or video, or witnessed the shooting that they give Kelowna RCMP a call at 250.762.3300 or CrimeStoppers.
News1130’s Jesse Johnston is in Kelowna and will have updates throughout the day.