B.C. homicide investigators ask for help finding new suspect, getaway car in Sikh leader's death
Hardeep Singh Nijjar was killed at a Surrey gurdwara on June 18
B.C.'s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says it now has three suspects in the homicide of Surrey Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and it's asking for the public's help tracking them down.
IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Timothy Pierotti told reporters Wednesday that the third suspect was seen waiting in a getaway car in the area of 121 Street and 68 Avenue on June 18 during the Nijjar's fatal shooting.
Police believe this suspect drove two others away from the scene in the vehicle, which investigators have identified as a silver 2008 Toyota Camry.
IHIT has released surveillance photos of the vehicle, along with a blurry image of the new suspect, and police are asking anyone who recognizes them to contact investigators right away.
Nijjar, 45, a prominent community leader and proponent of an independent Sikh state, was fatally shot outside the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara on 120 Street in Surrey's Newton town centre.
Investigators have previously said they are seeking two "heavy-set" suspects seen leaving the scene. Pierotti declined Wednesday to release further information about the original two suspects.
Police have also not released any information about potential motives for the homicide, and Pierotti wouldn't address common suspicions in the Surrey Sikh community that the death was a result of foreign interference.
Sikhs for Justice, a group Nijjar was active in that advocates for an independent state called Khalistan, released a statement Wednesday saying the community is "appalled" by the lack of information provided by investigators.
"So far, the IHIT's progress in the investigation of Nijjar's assassination is disappointing and dissatisfying," the statement reads.
The group also said it is considering launching its own private investigation if it doesn't see more developments in the case.
In early July, gurdwara officials filed a federal e-petition asking the government to launch an investigation into the murder.
E-petitions are used to draw attention to an issue of public interest or concern and request action from the House of Commons, the federal government, a minister or MP.
Surrey–Newton MP Sukh Dhaliwal sponsored the petition, which now requires a government response in the fall as it has exceeded the minimum number of signatures to proceed.
With files from Chad Pawson, Bethany Lindsay and the Canadian Press