Paul Aulakh says his best buddy Jesse Dhaliwal was an “absolute workhorse” who had been saving up to buy a house.
“He was probably the hardest working guy that we know,” Aulakh said. “He always made time for people. Jesse’s day consisted of 48 hours.”
Dhaliwal, 36, was stabbed to death on March 26 at a house in the 17000-block of 57th Avenue.
He is Surrey’s sixth homicide of 2017.
Police were called to the scene at 6 a.m. Corporal Meghan Foster, spokeswoman for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said investigators are working closely with the Surrey RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Section and the B.C. Coroner’s Service to gather and review evidence.
“This altercation occurred between parties known to each other, and was not random,” Foster said. “This matter is now before the courts, and limited information can be provided as the court process will be honoured.”
Gurtarn “Tarn” Sandhu, 27, has been charged with manslaughter and will be back in Surrey provincial court on April 28. There is a publication ban on information that was presented to court at his bail hearing.
In his memory, dozens of Dhaliwal’s friends and family gathered Sunday at Maple Green Elementary, where Dhaliwal had attended school, and have also set up a GoFundMe page that by Monday afternoon had reached $149,134 of a $200,000 goal to help support his family and cover his funeral costs.
Aulakh said he wanted to stress for the record that Dhaliwal had “absolutely not” been involved in crime and “couldn’t hurt a fly.”
He worked at a mill, flooring and finishing and provided for his mother, brother and sister after his father died when he was a teenager. He was supporting his mom and sister, who is in her first year of university.
“He’s been the breadwinner, putting a roof over their head.”
Comments posted on the Gofundme page describe Dhaliwal as “amazing” with a “great smile and personality.
“I am glad I got to meet you,” Gurdeep Puri wrote. “You are loved by so many and will continue to live on in our thoughts.”
Rana Sim Nagra wrote, “Jesse brother, I knew you for a short time but I felt like I knew you for a lifetime.”
Dhaliwal’s nickname was “Tech,” Aulakh said, for having fixed a loose wire on a contraption at a friend’s house in Grade 9. The name stuck. They’d been pals since childhood, with both families also knowing one another back in India.