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The parents of an innocent man who died last May in a botched attempt to kill one of the notorious Bacon brothers are asking the public for help to find the killer.

Jonathan Barber, 24, died when someone sprayed gunfire at the black Porsche Cayenne SUV he was driving down Kingsway in Burnaby, a Vancouver suburb.

The vehicle veered off the road and hit the corner of a building. Barber's girlfriend, 17, who was travelling in a separate vehicle, was also seriously injured in the attack.

'Jonathan Barber … was simply doing what he did best, and that was installing stereos.' — Insp. Bill Fordy

"This is my son Jonathan; he was murdered on May 9, Mother's Day weekend last year," said Mary Barber, holding a picture of her son Friday.

"He did nothing wrong. He was simply going to pick up a car to do an audio installation. He was passionate, creative and talented."

At the time, police said it appeared to be a targeted shooting, but said they had not established that Barber had links to organized crime.


A tow truck removes the Porsche SUV that Jonathan Barber was driving when he was shot last May. ((CBC))

On Friday, the RCMP Integrated Homicide Investigation Team held a news conference, with Barber's parents, to announce that the young man was indeed an innocent victim caught in the middle of rival gang activity.

Insp. Bill Fordy said Barber was just doing a job and had no idea of the trouble he was getting into.

"Jonathan Barber was not involved in criminal activity on the night that he was executed. He was simply doing what he did best, and that was installing stereos," Fordy said.

Vehicle linked to Bacon brothers

The subsequent police investigation concluded Barber installed vehicle electronics to make extra money and was in the process of driving the SUV to his home for some installations when he was shot, Cpl. Dale Carr said.

Barber was an expert at installing stereos in high-end cars and was working full time plus a few other jobs on the side. He had visited his father just hours before going to pick up the SUV.

"Jon came to see me earlier that evening in his silver Jeep —- relaxed, fit, confident and with blue eyes sparkling," Michael Barber said Friday.

The SUV has now been linked to the Bacon brothers, a notorious trio of alleged gangsters from Abbotsford and Port Moody, Carr said.

Investigators have yet to arrest anyone in the Barber shooting, and on Friday, Carr appealed to members of the public who may have crucial information to contact police.

The appeal follows a wave of gang shootings in Metro Vancouver that have left several people dead in what police have called targeted hits linked to gangs battling over the drug trade.

Bacon brothers and associates targeted

Police have previously alleged that at least one of the Bacon brothers and two known associates have been the target of several shootings in recent months, and have warned the public against appearing in public with any of them.

In the first incident, Dennis Karbovanec was shot and wounded in Mission on Dec. 31. Police said he was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time he walked into the hospital emergency room for treatment.

In the second incident, Jamie Bacon was reportedly shot at while driving down a busy Abbotsford street on Jan. 20. He jumped out of his moving car, and was reportedly wearing body armour when arrested shortly afterward.

On Feb. 6,  Kevin LeClair, who police said was a close friend of the Bacon brothers, was shot dead while sitting inside a truck in the parking lot of a Langley IGA. The gunmen reportedly fired about 40 shots into the vehicle with high-powered weapons before fleeing.