Richmond park shooting suspects charged with attempted murder

Attempted murder charges have been laid against two men in connection to a gang-related shooting in a park in Richmond, B.C., last August, say police.

Police say they may issue an extradition order for one of the suspects who may be out of the country

Const. Jordan McLellan with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit says two men have been charged in relation to a shooting in Dover Park last August. (CBC)

Attempted murder charges have been laid against two men in connection to a gang-related shooting in a park in Richmond, B.C. last August.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit announced the charges Monday against Thomas Duong, 20, and Sa-hand Askari, 31, in relation to a shooting in Dover Park last summer.

A Canada-wide warrant has now been issued for the arrest of Sahand Askari on attempted murder charges in connection with a shooting Aug. 21 in Richmond's Dover Park. (Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit)

Duong is in police custody on an unrelated matter. Officers believe Askari is in the Middle East. Police said in an update Tuesday a Canada-wide warrant has now been issued for his arrest. 

"Since the suspect is currently out of the country extradition efforts may be considered in the future," said CFSEU spokesman Cst. Jordan McLellan. "With this warrant now issued police will arrest Askari if and when he returns to Canada."

McLellan said the shooting's proximity to the public was one of investigator's main concerns. 

"These two offenders showed a complete disregard for public safety by discharging a firearm in a populated residential area," said Const. Jordan McLellan

The suspects have both been charged with:

  • Attempted murder while using a restricted firearm. 
  • Discharging a firearm with intent.

RCMP say they were called to the Richmond park on the evening of Aug. 21 for reports of shots fired.

RCMP are asking anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious near Westminster Highway and Number 2 Road Friday around 11 p.m. PT to give them a call. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The victim — a well-known gang associate, say police — was found at a nearby gas station with numerous gunshot wounds. He was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

McLellan said an investigation found he had gone to the park that evening to meet with the two suspects. 

He had a message for anyone considering getting involved with a gang hoping it will bring money and a high-rolling lifestyle.

"The gang lifestyle is a myth. The way that it's portrayed in the media, the way it's portrayed in the movies, is a myth," he said. 

"What we see is people getting killed, what we see is people getting shot ... and they end up with nothing."

A separate gang shooting took place in the same Richmond park in 2007.

With files from Brenna Rose

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