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Gang shootings becoming more professional: expert

SURREY (NEWS1130) – Four bodies in three shootings so far this week in Surrey — should we be concerned about about a spike gang violence?

“We do get these episodes every so often, we should always be concerned because if they are running rampant then we are not doing very well in terms of our criminal justice system, we’re not controlling these outbursts very well,” Rob Gordon, director of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, tells News1130.

“One can’t necessarily blame the police for that because it’s an extremely difficult field to stay in touch with. Much depends on the quality of the intelligence that police are receiving,” he adds.

Gordon says it has been a long time since we have seen an innocent bystander hurt in gang-related violence, or a case of mistaken identity.

“I don’t think we can ever call it an acceptable risk, but one should not be overly concerned about it to the point where it’s affecting your movements, unless you know one or more of these people in which case, obviously, you have to take care.”

The reason, Gordon believes, is shootings in the drug underworld have become more careful affairs.

“There are retaliatory shootings but they don’t always occur quickly after the event,” he explains. “What’s noticeable about shootings involving people in the illegal drug trade, at least of late, is that there’s a time lapse. That is, in many respects, a hallmark of individuals who are much more patient and much more professional in their dealings.”

Gordon hates to call it a sign of increasing professionalism, but he does.

“The folks that are doing it are not necessarily local. They may well be contracted, coming from outside the area. My money would be on them coming from the US on a contract, picking up a weapon here, do the business very quickly, drop the weapon off and then move on. That’s happened in other shootings in the last few years,” he says.

Two of the four men killed in Surrey have been linked to the crew that was headed up by gangster Sukh Dhak before he was gunned down in a hotel in Burnaby in November.

27-year-old Manjot Dhillon was shot dead in North Surrey Sunday evening.

29-year-old Manny Hairan was killed in the Bridgeview neighbourhood of Surrey early Tuesday morning.

Another man was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

“I don’t think it’s a new gang war, I think it’s the same one-sided gang war that has been going on for the last year and a half,” Ranj Dhaliwal, author of the Daaku series, tells News1130.

“These guys, [Hairan and the other man who was shot Tuesday morning] from what I’ve heard, were shot at a year ago.  It’s come full circle.  It was a failed gang hit to begin with and whoever did it was just trying to finish the job.”

There was another deadly shooting in Surrey on Sunday but police don’t believe the victims were gangsters.

Dhaliwal is also concerned about an innocent bystander being caught in the crossfire.

“Machine guns spraying an SUV outside of a casino in Kelowna is not very safe for the public and neither is the way Sukh Dhak was murdered at a hotel where guests could have caught a stray bullet.”

Dhaliwal believes hitmen may be being brought in from Mexico.