British Columbia

Victim's wife witnessed Surrey killing: police

Police say they plan to speak again to a woman who watched in horror as her 30-year-old husband was shot and killed in Surrey, B.C., on Wednesday night.

Police seeking South Asian male

Deadly shooting

12 years ago
Duration 2:15
The CBC's Alan Waterman reports on the investigation into the deadly roadside shooting of a man in front of his wife in Surrey, B.C.

Police say they plan to speak again to a woman who watched in horror as her 30-year-old husband was shot and killed in Surrey, B.C., on Wednesday night.

CBC News has learned the victim Manbir Kajla, was travelling in a car with his wife, Pavan Sanghera Kajla, when a white SUV collided with the couple's Lexus as it changed lanes on 128 Street near 68 Avenue.

The husband got out of the car, and was shot as he approached the SUV. He was hit by at least one bullet, ran to the sidewalk and collapsed, said police.

When police arrived, they found the man in severe medical distress. Despite attempts to save him, he was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.

South Asian man sought

Police are now seeking a South Asian male who was seen leaving the area in the white SUV.

"The driver of the SUV, thought to be a South Asian male, was seen leaving the area south on 128 Street through 64 Avenue," Cpl. Dale Carr of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said in a statement issued on Thursday morning.

"The suspect vehicle is described as a white SUV Ford Explorer-type vehicle with silver trim along the bottom of the vehicle," he said.

Police are still investigating whether the killing was the result of road rage, but Carr said it does not appear the victim and shooter knew each other, and police have found no links to drugs or gangs so far.

"We want to establish what went on prior to the collision," he said.

"Police are looking to speak to anyone that may have seen an erratic driver in a white SUV between 11 p.m. and midnight in the Newton area of Surrey," said Carr.

Wife remains traumatized

Carr said the woman remains traumatized and investigators are being as sensitive as they can be when dealing with someone who witnessed the death of a loved one.

Manbir Kajla, right, was gunned down after a minor traffic accident while in a car with his wife, Pavan Sanghera Kajla, left. (Facebook)
"We treat them very, very carefully. We get them victim services, we get them all the victim services they need, and we ensure that they are well taken care of, and then we will go an visit them later in the day or even the next day to sit down with them.

"It's important they get that care, but it's also important that they get us the information that we need to get to the bottom of this."

Investigators will spend the day conducting a crime scene examination and conducting door-to-door inquiries.

Vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be affected by the north and southbound road closures between 68 Avenue and 70 Avenue on 128 Street.

The shooting happened in front of Bobby Sangha's house, just meters away from the nursery where his twin 11-month-old children were sleeping.

"It's a little bit of anger, at why on this street. A little bit of frustration too. And a little bit of what's going on in this country. Why are we just shooting at each other right in the middle of the street? This is Canada for God's sake," he said. 

With files from the CBC's Meera Bains