VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Vancouver Police Department’s Chief Constable says he knows where the bullet came from that killed an innocent teenager last weekend, but police still haven’t identified a suspect.
Alfred Wong, 15, from Coquitlam was caught in the crossfire of a shootout on January 13th as his family drove along East Broadway near Ontario Street. He later died of his injuries.
Another man, 23-year-old Kevin Whiteside, was shot and later died. Police believe he had gang ties and was the intended target, and was involved in the exchange of gunfire, despite being banned from owning a firearm.
Chief Constable Adam Palmer now says he knows where the bullet came from that killed the teen, but investigators have not identified a suspect.
“If you’re asking me if it was Mr Whiteside or another shooter, yes I know the answer to that question.”
“I know the answer but I’m not telling you.”
.@ChiefPalmer now addressing media. He says ‘Alfred’s senseless murder has rocked our community’ and having to deal with death of innocent 15-year-old has been difficult for everybody. Adds @VancouverPD investigation has made significant progress, but no arrests made yet.
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) January 22, 2018
Palmer says Vancouver is seeing an uptick in gang violence.
“This cycle we’re going through right now is significant. We haven’t seen gun violence like this in probably the last ten years.”
“It’s frustrating for everyone involved in this investigation because it’s very rare that we see an innocent person killed, particularly a young person right in the early stages of their life. It’s heartbreaking to see this, just tragic for everybody involved. For the family, for the general public and certainly for our investigators as well.”
Palmer says investigators have a good idea what happened that night thanks to video footage.
“So that includes video from dash cams from people driving by, people that were on cell phones, people that were at the scene. It’s been a full nine days of forensic types of analysis –piecing together what happened and we have a pretty good idea of how the scene looked that night.”
Police say about 50 officers are working the case, calling it a top priority.
A third person was grazed by a bullet during the shootout. He was treated and released.
Teen remembered as good athlete, student and son
Alfred Wong has been remembered as a bright young man and a good student who wanted to pursue a career in electronic engineering. At a press conference, his brother Wilfred said his family was in shock that this could have happened.
“The 15 years we had with Alfred were far too short.”
Pastor Choi said Alfred Wong was passionate about every cause he took up, and in his free time was involved in martial arts, basketball and swimming. He was training to be a lifeguard, and enjoyed playing video games with his friends.
Alfred Wong’s brother Wilfred Wong: “The 15 years we had with Alfred were far too short, but we know that Alfred is now in heaven with God. My parents and I will always love him dearly, and his death will leave a void in our hearts” pic.twitter.com/GNwJwfFlAt
— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) January 22, 2018
Alfred Wong’s funeral will be held on Saturday morning at Coquitlam Alliance Church.
On Saturday, the VPD set up its Mobile Command Centre near the site of the shooting, encouraging anyone who had yet to speak to detectives to come forward to do so.
Anyone with information can contact the VPD Homicide Unit at 604-717-2500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.