India — An Indo-Canadian gangster was executed by suspected rivals outside the main terminal of the Vancouver International Airport or YVR on Sunday afternoon, with the suspects firing upon pursuing police while fleeing.
While the victim has not been formally named by investigators, the Vancouver Sun identified him as Karman Singh Grewal, 28, who had a long history of being associated with gangs in the region.
At a press conference at the airport late on Sunday, Sgt Frank Jang, spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said the execution-style killing was “linked to ongoing gang conflict” that has marked the region in recent times.
The Vancouver Sun also reported Grewal was “very close” to gangster Jimi Sandhu, who was deported to India in 2016.
The shooting occurred at around 3pm on Sunday afternoon outside the main terminal of the airport, from where flights depart for national and international destinations. The airport remained open with “restricted access.”
Chief superintendent Will Ng of the Richmond Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) told reporters that the murder was “targeted and carried out in broad daylight” and that “this generation of gangsters is taking things to another level”.
Trains to the Sea Island in Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver, where the airport is located, were temporarily halted as was traffic from a tunnel and bridges leading to it.
The Richmond detachment of RCMP tweeted that officers intercepted the getaway vehicle and were shot at by the suspects. While the officers were not hurt, the suspects escaped. What is believed to be their vehicle was found torched in the nearby township of Surrey.
In a statement released on Sunday evening, the airport authorities said, “RCMP responded to a police incident at Vancouver International Airport outside the main terminal today. It has since been contained. Our thoughts are with those impacted by today’s incident. The airport is open and safe for airport workers and those who need to travel.”
Gangland activity has been on the rise in the area in recent weeks. Four confirmed killings have been reported there over the past three weeks. These gangs have a strong Indo-Canadian presence as well, as one significant figure among them, Harb Dhaliwal, was gunned down outside a restaurant in Vancouver on the evening of April 17.
CBC News described the airport incident as the “the most brazen shooting yet in Metro Vancouver’s latest spurt of gun violence”.