Vancouver police identify 6 known gangsters considered risks to the general public
Residents warned to stay away from the men, who police say may be next targets of gang violence
Vancouver police have released the names and photos of six known gangsters they believe pose a significant risk to residents as the Lower Mainland gang war continues to claim victims and play out during the daytime in busy public places.
Vancouver police Chief Const. Adam Palmer said the men are being identified because, according to police intelligence, they are the most likely next targets of rival gangs and a danger to anyone who happens to be nearby.
"I want to make it clear that today's announcement is not about naming and shaming," he said on Monday. "We are providing these photos and names so Vancouverites can know them and take steps to ensure their own safety and safety of friends and family."
The Lower Mainland has recorded 20 gang-related homicides in 2021 and 20 gang-related attempted murders.
In the past three weeks alone, seven men have been shot dead in public settings, in what police have described as either targeted or gang-related homicides. Locations include Vancouver International Airport, a recreation centre, a community park, a mall parking lot and outside shops and restaurants.
The men identified by the VPD are Garinder Deo, 35; Harjit Deo, 38; Barinder Dhaliwal, 38; Meninder Dhaliwal, 28; Ekene Anigbo, 22; and Damion Ryan, 41.
2015 murder attempt
Ryan, a full-patch member of the Hells Angels, was the target of a wild 2015 murder attempt at the Vancouver airport food court, carried out by a teen disguised in a black burka.
Would-be killer Knowah Ferguson was from Ontario, had no previous criminal record and was promised $200,000 for the hit.
WATCH | Surveillance video shows failed assassination of Hells Angels member:
Security video played at his trial shows a burka-clad Ferguson walking up to Ryan and putting a gun to his head. The gun jams and both men flee.
The 18-year-old was later sentenced to seven years in prison for attempted murder and four years for conspiracy.
Palmer said neither Ryan nor the other five men identified on Monday are currently wanted by police. He said releasing their names is in the interest of public safety, similar to when police release the name and photo of a sex offender who has moved into the community.
"[The six] not only pose a risk to friends, family and acquaintances, but also to people who don't even know them every time they go to the gym, go shopping, to the grocery store, to a restaurant or a bar, when bars are open."
Palmer said he expects other police agencies to follow Vancouver's lead and release more names and photos of gang members in their jurisdictions.
He said the VPD is deploying a suite of overt and covert operations in an attempt to tamp down the violence and that officers would be seizing gang members' cars, homes and other valuables gained through crime.
A new department task force that was recently formed to react quickly to gang activity stopped a retaliation shooting last week, according to Vancouver police Supt. Lisa Byrne.
Two men were arrested in a stolen car loaded with gas canisters. One of the individuals was a youth, the other had a loaded firearm.
Deputy Chief Howard Chow said citizens should report any suspicious cars they notice to police.
"We know gang members park stolen cars in neighbourhoods in advance of targeted hits that they later use as getaway vehicles that we find later burned," he said.
Earlier Monday, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers announced it is reviving a gang violence awareness campaign thanks to new funding.
The campaign encourages people with information on gangs and illegal guns to report anonymously.
"If you see something, say something," said Crime Stoppers executive director Linda Annis. "We only want your information so we can pass it on to police. We do not want to know who you are."
The widow of Paul Bennett, who was killed in 2018 in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity, said she is pleased the Crime Stopper guns and gang campaign is coming back.
"Every arrest, every gun seized means a threat to an innocent life will be reduced," Darlene Bennett said. "Next month marks three years since Paul's life was so senselessly taken. Our lives will never be the same."
- An earlier version of this story stated seven people tied to gangs had been shot dead in a three-week period. In fact, the men killed were described by police as being targeted or as having gang connections.May 18, 2021 2:15 PM PT
With files from Rhianna Schmunk