Two men have been arrested and police are searching for a third, after a man was shot dead in a targeted hit outside a Maple Ridge mall, RCMP say.

The victim, Claude Deguire, 26, was attacked at about 8 p.m. on Monday in the parking lot of Haney Place mall. He was airlifted to hospital, and died a short time later.

The victim was known to police, according to Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokesman Sgt. Peter Thiessen.

Haney Place mall, maple ridge, b.c.

"This was a targeted shooting which took place at very close range between the victim and the suspect shooter. It appears to be a drug-related shooting which resulted in a homicide," said Thiessen.

Police say several witnesses came forward immediately and officers were able to arrest the two men, aged 26 and 27, who remain in custody.

The incident comes less than a week after a targeted fatal shooting last week in Surrey. That attack prompted Mounties to warn of a crackdown on gang members and to launch a campaign urging gyms, restaurants and bars to ban known gangsters and refuse their money


With files from the CBC's Terry Donnelly