Are we in the midst of a gang war?
The man killed in Surrey this week was the target of an attempted murder in Coquitlam just over a year ago.
Jaskaran Singh Sandhu's body was found at 9:30 a.m. on Monday by pedestrians in south Newton.
His body was found near a ditch in the 12300-block of Colebrook Road.
"Mr. Sandhu was known to police and the victim of a targeted attack," said Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) Cpl. Adam MacIntosh. "Investigators continue to search for the motive behind his killing, including the possibility of it being gang-related."
Sandhu was the target of a brazen daylight shooting in Coquitlam 15 months ago.
In September, 2011, Sandhu was standing near of his black Nissan Altima in one of the oil change bays at a Mr. Lube location when a man approached and began firing. The suspect fired approximately five shots before jumping into a nearby vehicle and speeding off.
There was speculation at the time on whether that shooting was related to a high-profile gang shooting outside the Delta Grand hotel in Kelowna in August, 2011.
Monday's killing was Surrey's fifth murder in a month.
On Jan. 13 at 7 p.m., Manjot Dhillon was shot and killed near 168 Street and 76 Avenue.
Later that same night, John McGiveron and Geordie Carlow, both 33, were found shot to death in a parkade near 128 Street and 94 Avenue. Police don't believe that shooting was gang related.
And on Jan. 15, Manjinder Singh Hairan, 29, was fatally gunned down near 127 Street and 112B Avenue in Bridgeview. Jujhar Singh Khun-Khun was also shot.
According to IHIT, the Hairan and Dhillon shootings were gang-related, with the victims believed to be associates of the Dhak-Dhure gang, which is allegedly involved in an ongoing conflict with the Red Scorpions, Hells Angels and Independent Soldiers.
Some of the same people shot recently in Surrey had been targets before, in what was believed to be retaliation for the Kelowna shooting of Red Scorpion Jonathan Bacon and Larry Amero of the White Rock Hells Angels.
Bacon was killed and Amero injured.
The gang task force issued a dire warning at the time of the Kelowna hit.
"To date, intelligence and information indicates that tensions amongst rival gangs have increased exponentially since the Kelowna shooting and it’s no longer a question of if retaliation will occur, but when," the task force said in a release at the time. "The potential for a violent reprisal is not restricted to any one community, and can occur anywhere at anytime."
IHIT has said it's too early to characterize the latest Surrey shootings as a gang war.
Surrey Mounties say the killings are being conducted by people with no regard for human life.
Surrey RCMP Chief-Supt. Bill Fordy sent out a press release earlier this month saying those most at risk during these violent exchanges are the people involved in gangs and drugs.
"This is not television – the harsh reality is being played out here and now and is a testament to the fact that the life expectancy of anyone involved in criminal gangs is very short," Fordy said in the release.
IHIT is asking anyone who may have information about any of the shootings to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-IHIT(4448) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to remain anonymous, log onto Crime Stoppers at solvecrime.ca or call 1-800-222-8477.
~with files from Tri-City News