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Monday, 16 February 2009

Funeral service was held Saturday for gangster Raphael Baldini, who was gunned down in a daylight shooting in a Surrey mall parking lot.

Funeral service was held Saturday for gangster Raphael Baldini, who was gunned down in a daylight shooting in a Surrey mall parking lot.At least three marked police cruisers surrounded the Burquitlam Funeral Home for the event, attended by dozens of family, friends and associates.The gathering then moved to Coquitlam's Robinson Memorial Park cemetery.Afterwards, Baldini's aunt, Stella Hubert, thanked everyone for attending the service, to which reporters were not invited."I got to see a little bit of who Raph had as friends. . . . He was a very, very special nephew and a very, very special friend to all of you," she said on his Facebook tribute page. "Once again I am very happy for all that showed up."Baldini, 21, was shot to death in a friend's leased Range Rover in the crowded parking lot of Surrey's Guildford Town Centre just after 5 p.m. Feb. 3.The young gangster was on bail for an assault charge laid in Vancouver last October. His co-accused in that case, Jaspreet "Justin" Chahil is also charged with several others in a Surrey drug-trafficking ring.Baldini was the person who rented the penthouse in Surrey's Balmoral Tower where gunmen burst in Oct. 19, 2007 and executed six people, including two innocent bystanders, in what has become known as the Surrey Six slaughter.Four of Baldini's friends -- among them drug-dealing brothers Michael and Corey Lal -- were targeted in the shooting.The Lal brothers' sister Jourdane paid tribute to Baldini on his online memorial page:"No words can explain how our family will miss your smiling face, you are one of the few who truly cared, who cried tears not for us, but with us," she wrote. "I can only hope to show the same love to your family as you always showed for us."Baldini's mother Cindy warned in a phone message to The Sun last week to stop referring to her youngest child as a gangster despite his link to the infamous Surrey apartment and a series of gun and assault charges.
On Facebook, she said her son "loved so many people and he gave so much of himself to everyone and asked for nothing back. I wish I can hold in my arms right now."Baldini had left Vancouver Provincial Court Feb. 3 after making an appearance in his assault case and heading to Surrey to pick up a new cellphone at the mall. It is not known if the killers were tailing him.He was not cooperating with police in the Surrey Six investigation before his murder.
In fact, just a month after the slayings, Baldini was charged with a number of firearms offences when he was stopped in a vehicle with a 9-mm Glock and a Walther p22c semi-automatic. Both were loaded.
Baldini's murder is one in a rash of public shootings in 2009 across Metro Vancouver.


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