British Columbia

Alleged B.C. drug trafficker gunned down in Mexico

Police say a Canadian man with ties to organized crime is dead after being gunned down at a coffee shop in Mexico.

Thomas Gisby escaped death in Whistler in January

Police say a Canadian man with ties to organized crime was gunned down in Mexico on Saturday morning.

RCMP Supt. Dan Malo said B.C. resident Thomas Gisby was killed in Nuevo Vallarta, north of Puerto Vallarta.

Malo called Gisby, 50, "a well-known, high-ranking organized crime figure here in British Columbia.

"[He] is in charge of his own organized crime group," Malo said. "He operated his own criminal networks, both locally in the province of British Columbia, in Canada, and internationally."

According to the Mexican newspaper El Universal, Gisby was shot and killed in a Starbucks. Witnesses said two men fired at close range before fleeing, according to the newspaper. A suspect was later arrested nearby.

Police say Thomas Gisby had ties to organized crime in B.C. and abroad. (Daniel Becerril/Reuters)

Originally police said Gisby was killed on Friday evening, but later corrected the information to say he was killed on Saturday morning.

'Yet another tragedy'

Police sources told CBC News that Gisby's killing will result in unknown repercussions, and Malo confirmed investigators are looking into the possibility of retaliation.

"If past behaviour is indicative of future behaviour, we often see an attempt or at least a thought process with these gangs that there's a wish and want to avenge these kinds of murders," Malo said.

"The police will be speaking with those individuals we know are connected to Mr. Gisby... and we'll continue to do our job and try to make British Columbia as safe as we can."

Sources also say Gisby had been targeted in an explosion in Whistler, B.C., in January.

Two men had been camping in an RV in a public parking lot in Whistler when someone detonated explosives in an apparent attempt to kill them.

Each of the victims suffered minor injuries in the blast. Police said at the time both victims were known to them and the explosion was believed to be gang-related.