The fatal shooting near a Steveston park Thursday night is believed to have been targeted and related to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict, according homicide investigators, who are now calling on witnesses to come forward.
“Two days ago we had a homicide in Surrey that we linked to the…Lower Mainland gang conflict,” said the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team’s Sgt. Frank Jang during a media briefing on Friday.
“And now we have another one that we can attribute to the same conflict. It’s troubling and concerning for us and we’re working hard to really make those linkages, who is doing what, what’s going on behind the scenes, what is happening in this conflict to result in bloodshed, in this violence.”
Richmond RCMP were called to the area of Garry Street and Fentiman Place at around 8:30 p.m.Thursday after receiving calls of shots being heard in Steveston Community Park.
When officers arrived, they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to hospital but later died of his injuries. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) have taken over the case, with the help of Richmond RCMP Serious Crime Unit.
The victim was identified Friday as 29-year-old Anees Mohammed, a Vancouver resident who was known to police. His death is believed to have been targeted.
“This incident happened at 8:30 p.m. in a public park close to a community centre, where people walk their dogs, where children come out to play,” said Const. Kenneth Lau, Richmond RCMP spokesperson on Friday.
“The actions that these individuals did to the public, to put them in danger is completely unacceptable. We’re calling on the public, on citizens, because someone out there knows what happened.”
Anees Mohammed, 29, was fatally shot last evening in Richmond's Steveston Community Park. He was a resident of Vancouver. Investigation is ongoing. pic.twitter.com/yNTWkFZdgW— IHIT (@HomicideTeam) January 8, 2021
It’s not yet known what gang Mohammed was affiliated with or whether Thursday’s shooting was in retaliation for the homicide of 24-year-old Gary Kang at his family home in Surrey early Wednesday morning, which has also been linked to the ongoing gang conflict, according to Jang.
“We’re looking into that as well,” said Jang.
He called on witnesses, as well as people close to those involved to contact police.
Jang said investigators were canvassing the neighbourhood for witnesses and video footage on Friday.
By 2 p.m., police were removing tape that had been put up throughout the park.
“It is imperative that we find these people, we arrest them, we throw them in jail,” he said.
“Let me tell you this: these people don’t care about your safety, they don’t care about my safety, they don’t care about the young person walking the streets of Richmond.”
Businesses and residents in the area who may have exterior surveillance footage, or anyone driving who may have dash cam, is asked to contact IHIT. Investigators also want to speak to anyone who was in or near Steveston Community Park at the time of the shooting or who may have witnesses anything suspicious.
Anyone with information can contact the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-4448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477.