British Columbia·Video

Disguised in a burka, hitman points his gun at Hells Angel's head in YVR food court

Security footage obtained by CBC News on Thursday shows the failed hit as it played out, from a disguised Ferguson arriving at the airport by Canada Line to both men escaping on the same train, riding in separate cars metres apart.

Knowah Ferguson was 18 when he tried to kill Damion Ryan, a full-patch Hells Angels member

Security footage obtained by CBC News on Thursday shows the failed hit as it played out in real time — from a disguised Ferguson arriving at the airport by Canada Line to both men escaping on the same train, riding in separate cars metres apart.

Knowah Ferguson thought he stood to make a "quick and easy" $200,000.

All he had to do was shoot Damion Ryan — a full-patch member of the Hells Angels gang twice his size — in the food court at Vancouver International Airport at lunchtime on a Friday afternoon, according to evidence at Ferguson's attempted murder trial.

Ferguson — an 18-year-old from Ontario with no previous criminal record — nearly succeeded, but his gun jammed when it was against the back of Ryan's head on April 10, 2015.

Scroll down to watch the surveillance tape 

Both men ran away and Ferguson was later sent to prison for attempted murder.

Security footage obtained by CBC News on Thursday shows the failed hit as it played out in real time — from a disguised Ferguson arriving at the airport on a Canada Line train to both men escaping on the same train, riding in separate cars metres apart.

The videos were played in court during Ferguson's trial in B.C. Supreme Court.

Failed hit

Ferguson had just turned 18 when he took a bus from Hamilton, Ont., to Vancouver to do criminal work, court heard.

He planned to shoot Ryan in the food court as the target sat next to a member of the United Nations criminal gang, who had arranged the hit on Ryan. He has not been identified.

Video footage shown to the CBC but not cleared for publication shows Ferguson arrived at the airport by Canada Line at 1:08 p.m. 

He wore a black burka, which was too short for him, leaving his black, high-top sneakers visible at the bottom. 

The gun — which, court heard, Ferguson had tested beforehand in preparation — was hidden in a black purse hanging from his right arm.

Knowah Ferguson attempted to kill Damion Ryan at the Vancouver International Airport on April 10, 2015. 0:51

Seemingly calm and seldom looking around, Ferguson can be seen walking to the food court near the international check-in counter and sitting down to wait.

After 15 minutes, Ryan arrives and takes a seat across from the UN member — half a dozen tables away from Ferguson and surrounded by dozens of bystanders eating lunch.

Ferguson appears to spot Ryan, makes a trip to the bathroom and returns to a table closer to his target.

Another seven minutes pass and the three men sit, the hitman and target with their backs to each other.

At 1:54 p.m., Ferguson scans the room, stands, peeks inside the purse one more time and tucks the gun up his sleeve.

He walks past five tables before stopping directly behind Ryan.

Ferguson lifts the gun to the back of the target's head and the UN member leans away — but nothing fires.

Ryan can be seen swinging his right arm up behind his head to swat the gun away.

In less than a second, the Hells Angel is up and sprinting out of the food court. Ferguson follows close behind, and the UN member walks off in another direction.

None of the bystanders appear to realize what's happened.

Escape by Canada Line

Another angle of security footage viewed by the CBC shows Ryan running toward the international check-in desks to escape. Ferguson veers left, charging down a flight of stairs before slowing down and walking out of the airport to the parkade.

Ferguson disappears from view into a stairwell, emerging in a grey baseball cap, black hoodie and the same black sneakers. The black purse is stuffed in a blue plastic shopping bag.

Ferguson escaped the airport on a Canada Line train at 1:59 p.m., less than five minutes after the botched hit.

Ryan can be seen getting on a different car of the same train, 21 seconds after Ferguson boards near the front.

It's unclear if either man knew the other was on the train.

Arrest and conviction

Ferguson and two associates were arrested on firearms offences after a stolen truck they'd been using was spotted by its owner in Vancouver, two months after the attempted hit at the airport.

On Sept. 7, Ferguson, now 21, was sentenced to seven years for attempted murder and four years for conspiracy.

He received credit for time served, leaving him with a little more than six years of his sentence remaining.

Court heard Damion Ryan did not co-operate with the investigation.

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