British Columbia

Shooting in Surrey leaves 31-year-old man injured

The latest in a string of violent incidents in Surrey, B.C. has community groups calling on the mayor to take action and make the city safer.

Latest in a string of violent incidents in Surrey has community groups calling on mayor to take action

Officers worked into Monday morning gathering evidence from the scene, after a 31-year-old man was shot in Surrey on Sunday night. (CBC)

Community groups in Surrey are calling for action after a spate of violent incidents this month in the city. 

In the latest incident on Sunday night, a 31-year-old man is in hospital recovering from a bullet wound to the chest. Officers worked through the night and into Monday morning, gathering evidence from a location near 142 Street and 107 Avenue. They say the victim was known to police.

Earlier this month, a 15-year-old boy was attacked in a group assault and later died. Days before his death, a 41-year-old woman was charged with the murder of her eight-year-old daughter.

And this Sunday, Metro Vancouver Transit Police shot and killed a distraught man inside a grocery store in Surrey.

Despite the recent peak in violence, the number of homicides in Surrey has fallen from 25 last year to 17 this year.

Community groups say they're fed up with the violence.

"We had a shooting yesterday, it seems to be ongoing. It's non-stop in our community and people are afraid," said Douglas Elford of Newton Community Association.

Public safety is still top of mind for many Surrey residents and new Mayor Linda Hepner has pledged to hire 147 new RCMP officers.

"My job is to create the framework and the environment for a successful operation within the police force. They've got a tough job to do and I'm absolutely committed to making sure they have the resources to do that job," said Hepner.

The move to hire the new officers didn't come cheap — Surrey residents will be hit with a 10 per cent increase in taxes and fees to help pay for them.

But the mayor insists the hike is necessary.

"I thought it was a fair budget based on where it positioned us, both for business and for residents, and still let us do the things we need to get done in a growing city."

Hepner says an increased focus on community policing and helping officers address mental health issues should help bring those numbers down even further.

Monday also marks one year since Julie Paskall was brutally attacked outside Surrey's Newton Arena. She died days later, on New Year's Eve. A 27-year-old man has since been charged in the slaying.

With files from the CBC's Jesse Johnston