Premier John Horgan says the investigation will not end until the suspect is caught, just days after a 15-year-old boy was killed in what police are calling a targeted shooting gone wrong.
“As a parent, I know all British Columbians are saddened by the loss of an innocent life in gang violence in the Lower Mainland,” Horgan said during his weekly news briefing at the Legislature in Victoria.
“I know I speak for all British Columbians when I say that no stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime and bring them to justice.”
My heart goes out to family & friends of the innocent boy caught up in the violence of the Vancouver shooting Saturday. If you know anything that could help catch those responsible please contact @VancouverPD
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) January 16, 2018
I’m deeply saddened to hear that the young boy—an innocent passer-by in Saturday’s shooting—has died. My heart goes out to his family & friends in this dark time & I offer my deepest condolences for their loss.
— Gregor Robertson (@MayorGregor) January 16, 2018
The teen, who’s been identified on social media as Alfred Wong, was in a vehicle with his parents on Saturday night when he was hit by a stray bullet near East Broadway and Ontario streets in Vancouver. He died Monday afternoon after being on life support.
Boy identified by friends on social media as Alfred Wong
Since his death, friends of Wong – who attended Pinetree Secondary School – have taken to social media with posts mourning him.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart has identified the 15-year-old boy killed in Vancouver's shooting Saturday as Alfred Wong of Pinetree Secondary School. DETAILS: https://t.co/z6LygkW8WS pic.twitter.com/u3Bv1aUtsb
— Ashley Wadhwani (@ashwadhwani) January 17, 2018
In a goodbye post on social media site Reddit, a friend who identified himself as Kevin, described Wong as strong, smart and loyal.
“He was very trustworthy, and would always be on time when it mattered, but he was also very softspoken – he tended to be very quiet and it was always delightful when I would be able to talk to him. I loved him as a friend, not because of his achievements, but because of his personality himself,” he wrote.
Officials have not confirmed the identity of the teen.
In a statement Monday, School District 43, in Coquitlam where the boy lived, said they’ve alerted its critical response team to provide support services to students who have been affected by the death.
Wong’s family attended Coquitlam Christ Church of China, according to Pastor Caleb Choi. He declined to comment further, but would pass on a request for an interview.
Intended target known to police
The intended target of the shooting, Kevin Whiteside of Vancouver, also died in hospital.
According to online court records, the 23-year-old has a lengthy record, including convictions in 2014 of possession for the purpose of trafficking, in 2015 for breaking and entering a Delta home and possession of a firearm, and in 2016 for assault with a weapon, after which he was sentenced to 11 months in jail and handed a lifetime firearms ban.
Last bystander shooting in 2004: chief
Chief Const. Adam Palmer said this is the first bystander killing in the city since 2004, when Rachel Davis was shot outside the Purple Onion nightclub as she tried to help a man who’d been in a fight.
“Vancouver is a safe city and this is an anomaly,” Palmer said.