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Tuesday, 11 March 2008

More gangland killings in Vancouver

More gangland killings this weekend both victims ambushed outside their homes have provoked what has become a dreary mantra by police spokesmen: a targeted killing, victim known to the police,On Friday, just before midnight, an armed assailant walked up to a Mercedes SUV parked in the driveway of a Surrey home in the vicinity of 90th Avenue and 141A and opened fire on Nhant Truong (Joe) Tran, 23, as he sat in the driver's seat.Tran was killed in his own driveway, in his own car, shortly after arriving home.Surrey RCMP spokesman Sgt. Roger Morrow said Tran appeared to be waiting for someone. Police were called to the home by people who heard shots fired.
"The lone victim was known to police, and while at the initial stages of this investigation, investigators are of the belief that this is a targeted attack.
While IHIT tries to put it all together on the Tran murder, Vancouver homicide detectives are busy trying to solve the murder of 20-year-old Kyle Richard Wong, cut down in a hail of gunfire from an assault rifle in front of his family's townhouse carport in the 8600-block Aqua Drive at approximately 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
The weapon believed to have been used to kill Wong, who Vancouver police said had gang connections, was found a block away, apparently discarded by his killer.A fully automatic rifle is an unusual weapon for such a killing, said Vancouver police spokesman Const. Tim Fanning. Most of the recent gang-style murders have involved the use of semi-automatic handguns, he said.Since 2006, Wong had accumulated 10 charges, all motor vehicle infractions, and was due to appear in court Wednesday on a charge of driving without a valid driver's licence.
Witnesses could only give police a vague description of the vehicle that raced away from the scene. On Monday, Fanning said investigators were re-interviewing witnesses in the hope of getting a more detailed description.According to police only a fraction of gang-related murders are ever solved.
Fanning said the solve rate averages 35 to 40 per cent, whereas in other types of murder, police expect at least a 60-per-cent rate in identifying killers
"The reason for the low rate is that these are premeditated murders that have taken time to plan. The perpetrators disguise their appearance and lurk in the shadows. It usually takes a year to solve a murder like this and we have found that in some cases the victim of one murder was a suspect in another," he said.Fanning would not say if this was the case with Wong.While police intelligence sources close to the gang world might be able to identify a suspect in a targeted killing "the tough part was getting the evidence to lay a charge," said Fanning.
The department is compiling a report on the numbers of solved homicides relating to gangland slayings, which is expected to be released within the next few months, he said.


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