British Columbia

Police ID gangster as Oakridge mall shooting victim

A man gunned down in a Vancouver shopping mall parking lot Thursday was linked to one of the city's better-known criminal gangs, according to police.

Rakesh Ratnam Naidu, 34, had long criminal history

Vancouver police comb the nearby area of Oakridge Centre mall, where a 34-year-old man known to have gang ties was gunned down Thursday. ((CBC))

A man gunned down in a Vancouver shopping mall parking lot Thursday afternoon was linked to one of the city's better-known criminal gangs, according to police.

Rakesh Ratnam Naidu, 34, was linked to the Independent Soldiers gang, city police said Friday.

Naidu was also known to the B.C. Integrated Gang Task Force, established in 2004, spokesman Sgt. Shinder Kirk said Friday.

He said Naidu was one of many people his team had stopped and checked at bars, nightclubs and restaurants that are frequented by local gangsters.

"This subject has been checked previously by members of the uniformed gang task force," Kirk told CBC News.

Vancouver police are hunting for three men in the shooting, which took place in the underground lot of the Oakridge Centre mall in South Vancouver.

Vancouver police Const. Tim Fanning says officers are looking for three men in connection with the Thursday fatal shooting in the underground parking lot of Oakridge Centre mall. ((CBC))

Witnesses reported hearing 10 to 20 gunshots, Const. Tim Fanning said Friday.

Police believe two men involved in the shooting ran to a waiting getaway vehicle that a third man was driving.

"The car has been described as an older K-car or Reliant-type vehicle. It was a two-door and it was dark red, or maroon or burgundy in colour,"  Fanning said.

More than two dozen investigators searched for clues Friday, following the route of the getaway car east of the shopping mall.

Fanning said retaliation is always a possibility in gang-related killings. Naidu was Vancouver's 16th homicide victim of the year.

"This is just another tragic example of the gang lifestyle and how it leads to an early grave," Fanning said.

Court documents show Naidu had an extensive criminal record dating back more than 10 years, including possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a weapon, and assault with a weapon.

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