British Columbia

16 years jail for killer in Surrey Christmas shooting

A 23-year-old Surrey man who shot and killed a convenience store clerk on Christmas Day has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Alok Gupta was a business student from India who planned to settle in Canada. Family photo

 A 23-year-old Surrey man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for killing a convenience store clerk on Christmas Day.

William Whiteside was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Whiteside shot Alok Gupta during a robbery in a Surrey convenience store in 2011. Gupta had volunteered to work the Christmas shift, so the owners could spend time with family.

Sgt. Jennifer Pound with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said police are pleased with the sentence.

"Closure doesn't exist," she said. "The sentence isn't going to bring their family member back, but from an investigative standpoint, we're happy to see a 16-year sentence passed along."

Whiteside was originally charged with second degree murder, but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter as part of a plea deal.