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Second man charged in connection to New Westminster’s fifth homicide of 2021

Two New West men charged with second degree murder
A man who was heavily bleeding when he entered the Waves Coffee House on Columbia Street has become the city's fifth homicide victim of 2021.

A second man has been charged in connection to the death of 51-year-old Robert Powshuk.

Around 6:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, a man who was bleeding heavily walked into the Wave Coffee House on Columbia Street. Despite the efforts of first responders, he died of his injuries.

The New Westminster Police Department responded to the call, but later called in the Integrated Homicide Investigation Unit to investigate.

Later that day, IHIT, in partnership with the NWPD, arrested two people for their alleged involvement in the homicide.

That day, Ryan Crossley, 31, was charged with second-degree murder in connection to Powshuk’s death, while a second suspect remained in custody.

On Nov. 21, the BC Prosecution Service charged Curtis Crossley, 36, with second degree murder. Both suspects are from New Westminster.

According to IHIT, all individuals responsible have been taken into custody. No further information will be released as the matter is now before the courts.

“We wish to assure the community that this was an isolated incident,” IHIT Sgt. David Lee said in a news release. “Downtown New Westminster continues to be a safe place for everyone to be.”

Powshuk was New Westminster’s fifth homicide victim of 2021. Police have not revealed the nature of the crime.

“I can’t get into the nature of what happened to this individual specifically,” NWPD Sgt. Sanjay Kumar told the Record Friday. “I can tell you he was bleeding heavily and was suffering life-threatening injuries.”

The New Westminster Police Department encourages witnesses who may be distressed by what they saw to contact its Victim Assistance Unit at 604-529-2525.

Following the incident, portions of downtown New Westminster in the area between Sixth to Eighth streets and Clarkson to Front streets were closed for varying amounts of time. Some businesses were unable to open and some residents were unable to get into their homes while police conducted their investigation.