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Five arrested after Vancouver's first homicide of 2013

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Five men believed to have been involved in Vancouver’s first homicide of the year have been arrested. A sword may have been the murder weapon.

Three of the men arrested are still in police custody. Police say the murder happened during a street brawl that appears to have been targeted.

Constable Brian Montague says it looks like all kinds of weapons were used: bats, clubs and even a sword, which is believed to be the weapon that killed the 19-year-old on Elgin Street near East 47th Avenue.

“The victim is known to police. There are suggestions that there [are] ties to the drug trade. There are some loose gang connections, but nothing to suggest that he is affiliated with any major gang,” he says.

No charges have been laid.

Two cars have also been seized; people who live in the area say yelling matches are common on the lawn of a home in question.

“I can’t get into where… the suspects or the victim lives. I can tell you that the victim was a Vancouver resident. Our investigators will find out exactly why they were at that location,” says Montague.

One neighbour tells News1130 she heard screaming around 10:30 p.m. and then heard a car screaming away.

Another neighbour says he saw the police’s flashing lights and came out to see what was going on. “We did see them taking one guy on a stretcher in an ambulance.”

A person at the scene who claims to know the victim says he was a criminology student who wanted to become a lawyer.

“We’re always concerned when there is a violent situation like this… any time someone is seriously injured or killed in a public place in such a brutal way,” Montague tells us. “[But] there’s nothing to suggest the general public has anything to be concerned about.”

Four of the men were arrested at VGH; police won’t go into detail, but do sayone suspect was injured and went to the hospital on his own. All of the suspects are under the age of 21.

This homicide comes about a week and a half after a bloody weekend in Metro Vancouver; four people were killed in three separate shootings in Surrey and four people were wounded in a shooting in Richmond.