The Abbotsford Police Department believes two recent violent incidents involving gunfire could be linked, with a potential for “escalating tensions and threats to public safety.”
Const. Ian MacDonald said police are worried about the possibility of the violence continuing or getting worse.
“We are concerned that instead of bullets hitting houses, vehicles and trees, they start hitting people,” he said.
The first incident took place Feb. 22 in the 2300 block of Holly Street – in the area of Clearbrook and Peardonville roads.
Two men in their 20s were involved in an altercation that resulted in one being shot and the other being stabbed. Both were taken to hospital, where they recovered.
At least a couple of rounds hit a neighbour’s home and one hit a parked vehicle.
The second incident occurred on Monday night at a home in the 31400 block of Southern Drive – in the area of Townline and Maclure roads.
Police received several reports of shots being fired and, when they arrived, they found several bullets and casings in the area.
No one was hurt, and neighbours reported hearing vehicles flee the area quickly after the sound of gunfire.
MacDonald said one of the homes struck by bullets is associated to a known South Asian gang member, whom he wouldn’t name.
The motive for the shooting is unknown, although it does appear to be a targeted incident, he said.
MacDonald said the people involved in both incidents have not co-operated with the investigation.
“Some of the information provided has actually been misleading.”
He said this has made it difficult for police to obtain vehicle and suspect descriptions and other details to aid in their investigations.
MacDonald urged residents to be vigilant about reporting suspicious activity to the police or letting them know of planned criminal activity before it happens.
“Maybe we can put a lid on (the violence); maybe we can suppress it,” he said.
MacDonald wouldn’t confirm whether police believe the incidents are connected to the ongoing Townline Hill conflict in west Abbotsford.
Police first reported last July that there was an ongoing dispute between two groups of young South Asian men in the Townline Hill area.
The conflict has involved incidents of mischief, assault, vandalism and arson.
Last October, 18-year-old Harwin Baringh was fatally shot while in his vehicle on Sparrow Drive in west Abbotsford, but police have not confirmed whether his murder is related to the dispute.
However, court documents filed in December by the director of civil forfeiture to seize two vehicles alleged to have ties to Baringh’s murder indicated that his death was linked to an “ongoing gang conflict” between the Dhaliwal and Chahil crime groups.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225, text abbypd (222973) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.