British Columbia

Gang associate who posed 'significant risk' to public shot dead in targeted hit

The victim of a targeted shooting outside a Mission, B.C., shopping mall has been identified as a 19-year-old with gang ties.

Varinderpal Singh Gill, 19, had gang links and was the subject of a public warning in August

Abbotsford police issued a public warning about Varinderpal Singh Gill in August. (Abbotsford Police Department)

A 19-year-old gang associate who posed a "significant risk" to the public has been shot dead outside a mall in Mission, B.C.

Investigators say Varinderpal Singh Gill was targeted and shot outside the Mission Junction Mall around 9 p.m. PT on Wednesday.

Officers with the RCMP Serious Crimes section said Integrated Homicide Investigation Team detectives have been called in. (CBC)

Gill was pronounced dead at the scene, which isn't far from a movie theatre and a number of restaurants.

"This was a brazen shooting in a busy shopping complex," said Cpl. Frank Jang with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

"There were people around ... really, it's by the grace of God or whatever you want to call it that nobody else was hurt other than Mr. Gill."

Previous public warning

Abbotsford police issued a public warning about Gill in August, saying he was believed to be involved with gang conflicts in the city as well as around the Lower Mainland.

"What we know is that Mr. Gill is involved with threatening others and we have information that he too has been threatened," Abbotsford police Sgt. Judy Bird said in a statement on Aug. 15.

Jang said Gill's past is what leads investigators to believe he was targeted.

"This has all the hallmarks of a targeted hit, a gangland hit," the officer said.

"It's very unsettling, it's very concerning for the community, but that's what we believe given his past and his association to gangs and drug activity."

IHIT say's Varinderpal Singh Gill's killing 'has all the hallmarks of a targeted hit, a gangland hit.' (Abbotsford Police Department)

The officer said one person has been arrested for questioning, but no one has been identified as a suspect and no charges have been laid.

Jang said Gill wasn't alone when he was attacked and IHIT is questioning those who were with him at the time.

Burning SUV

At 1:14 a.m. PT, a burning SUV was found in Bateman Park near Bateman Road and Wright Street in Abbotsford, B.C. Investigators believe the vehicle is connected to Gill's killing.

A black pickup truck was also seen parked at the Mission mall, with several bullet holes in the driver's side window.

Investigators mark down evidence in front of a pickup with bullet holes in its window outside the Mission Junction Mall late Wednesday. (CBC)

The window of a Mexican restaurant in the shopping complex was shattered by a stray bullet.

Anyone with information about the shooting or the burning SUV is asked to call IHT at 1-877-551-4448, or Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous.

Read more from CBC British Columbia