More gang violence feared
Police are warning there could be possible retaliation after two reputed Indo-Canadian gang members were shot on Tuesday afternoon in East Vancouver.
Investigators say two men entered a Vietnamese restaurant, and fired more than a dozen shots at the two victims in what's believed to be a targeted gang shooting.
Thirty-two-year-old Balraj Duhre and his cousin, 25-year-old Ravi Sahota – who are both well known to police – were seriously wounded.
That promted the Vancouver Police Department to put out a call to B.C.'s Integrated Gang Task Force.
Task force spokesperson Cst. Shinder Kirk says says gang violence "goes in cycles" and that there have been numerous "horrendous cases" over the years.
But Kirk says that despite the brazen nature of Tuesday's shootings, gang attacks are not on the rise
Harbans Kandola, who has been working to end gang violence for years, says the latest shootings should serve as a reminder that the Indo-Canadian community is still fighting a losing battle against gangs.
" We need to do something, I think the whole community has to get up in arms that this is not acceptable. There are a lot of parents who are crying, believe me they are crying for help. It seems to me there is not very effective help available."
He says that in the last 20 years, more than 90 Indo-Canadian men have died due to gang warfare across the Lower Mainland.
Kandola says his group, VIRSA – The Sikh Alliance against Youth Violence – is working with elementary school children to help prevent them getting involved in gang violence.
And he says more counselling services and a 24-hour crisis line are needed to help combat the problem.
Attorney General Wally Oppal
The two suspects remain at large.
B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal says law enforcement can't operate in a vacuum, and members of the Indo-Canadian community need to provide police with information so arrests can be made.
"They're there to help you, and people in the community have to know that. They have to go to the authorities. Otherwise the cycle of violence will continue."