Calgary

Police brace for gang violence after downtown slaying

The daytime shooting death of a known gang member in downtown Calgary may lead to more gang violence, police say.

The daytime shooting death of a gang member in downtown Calgary may lead to more gang violence, police say.

Mark Kim, 23, was identified Wednesday as the man found in an alley in the 900 block of 7th Avenue S.W. just before noon on New Year's Eve.

Kim was well-known to police and had been charged with numerous drugs and weapons offences, said acting Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta.

"The gang he is associated to has been responsible for numerous violent acts in the city," he said.

Kim was arrested on Dec. 27 for breaching court conditions and released three days before he was gunned down.

"Obviously our biggest concern is the cycle of violence that gangs continue to perpetuate. Our gang members are targets any place, any time," Schiavetta said, adding the fact the shooting happened during the day concerns investigators.

"Gang members are opportunistic and they have a deep hatred for one another and will go to all ends to locate and hurt their rivals."

Police said Kim was a close associate of John Pheng, another gang member who was shot to death, in a bar on 17th Avenue S.W. in 2005.

Kim also testified at the trial of his friend Vuthy Kong, 24, who was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2002 stabbing death of Adam Miu.

Police said they'll be pulling surveillance tape from local businesses to help in the investigation. They're also looking for a dark-coloured SUV that sped through the alley in reverse.

"It cut off traffic going southbound on 8th Street. We're following those leads," said Staff Sgt. Chris Matthews of the homicide section.

Meanwhile, an autopsy has been scheduled for Thursday on the body of a man found on the front lawn of a house in the 1900 block of 49th Avenue S.W. on New Year's Day. Police are treating that case as a suspicious death.