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Surrey murder victim was targeted: RCMP

A 23-year-old Surrey man is dead following what police are calling a targeted shooting Friday night.

The body of Nhant Truong "Joe" Tran was found slumped behind the steering wheel of his Mercedes SUV, which was parked in front of his home in the area of 90 Avenue and 141A Street.

Mounties were called at approximately 11:45 p.m. after neighbours heard the sound of gunfire.

Members of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) believe Tran arrived home shortly before the shooting and was waiting in his SUV when he was killed.

Tran, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was known to police.

The investigation is still in its early stages, but police believe it was a targeted attack related to drugs.

RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Roger Morrow said no ties have been established between this shooting and the recent string of gang-related murders in Metro Vancouver.

Tran is Surrey's sixth murder victim of 2008, and the third in the Guildford area in the past two weeks.

Khanh Pho Mach, 29, was stabbed and later bled to death on the front lawn of his home in the 15500 block of 100 Avenue on Feb. 24. His girlfriend, 28-year-old Nga "Susan" Thi-Thanh Nguyen, is charged with second-degree murder.

On Feb. 25, the body of 14-year-old Justin Peter Vasey was discovered outside an abandoned house in the 14200 block of 104 Avenue. The house was used by youths and others for parties, and there were reports of teens being there just prior to Vasey's death.

Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT tip line at 1-877-543-9217 or, to remain anonymous, CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

dweir@surreyleader.com

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