SURREY (NEWS1130) – Up to 50 police officers are trying to find whoever gunned down a young SFU student early yesterday morning.

Investigators are staying pretty tight-lipped about who they’ve spoken to, but RCMP Sergeant Peter Thiessen says they have talked to “several persons of interest.”  He adds that police are working on 19-year-old Maple Batalia’s death as though it was targeted, although that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

“We need to determine did this 19-year-old girl know her attacker or attackers?  We don’t have that answer.  And because we don’t have that answer we can’t get to a point of reassuring the community in regards to exactly what it is we’re dealing with.”

Thiessen didn’t get into claims from Batalia’s family that Maple had a jilted lover, but they’re looking into it.  “We’re also looking into other areas as well which I cannot get into, that may take us into a completely different direction.  So, those are some significant challenges.”

Maple had recently obtained a no-contact order against her former boyfriend, but police won’t comment on that either.

She was gunned down early yesterday while getting into her car at SFU’s Surrey campus.  She was a model and nursing student.

A memorial page has been set up on Facebook.

Extra security

SFU is reviewing security measures at its Surrey campus following Batalia’s shooting.  The school is also warning students to be extra careful, especially if they’re staying late to study.

Don MacLachlan with SFU says they are reviewing security protocols.  “But realistically, no amount of security could have prevented or foreseen what happened.”

He adds that they’re asking students to take their own safety precautions as well.  “We are encouraging to
now check-in with the security desk and to let the security guards know, “This is where I am.  Please keep an eye in the area that I’m going to be studying.”