Vancouver gang violence worst in a decade

Elias Hubbard
January 23, 2018

Chief Const. Adam Palmer said the department deals with criminal activity every day and there are often tragic consequences, but having to deal with the death of an innocent boy has been hard for everyone.

"We have good evidence so far, but we need more", he said.

An innocent teen who was killed by gunfire while in a vehicle with his parents was the victim of surging gang violence, Vancouver's police chief told reporters on Monday.

VANCOUVER, BC., January 22, 2018 - Wilfred Wong, brother of shooting victim Alfred Wong at a press conference with Chief Constable Adam Palmer in Vancouver, BC., January 22, 2018. "He is survived by his older brother and his parents".

Palmer said significant progress has been made in the investigation but urged anyone with information on the murders of Wong and Whiteside to contact Vancouver Police, adding that no detail is too small.

"We're all full of shock that something like this would happen to us", Wilfred told reporters.

Alfred Wong, 15, was hit by gunfire when his family's auto passed a gang shooting in Vancouver on January 13.

Vancouver police have said the boy was heading home to Coquitlam with his parents on January 13 when shots were fired between at least two people. The Coquitlam teen died of his injuries at Vancouver General Hospital two days later. One of the gunmen, Kevin Whiteside, was also killed. "The years that he had with us will impact our family forever".

"In particular, we would like to thank the officers that were with us for those two nights (and) doctors and nurses from the emergency and ICU". "We know that he is now with God in a better place". "My parents and I will always love him dearly".

Choi described the teenage victim as a "bright young man" who excelled in his studies and sports.

He was also an athlete, studying martial arts, playing basketball and swimming with the Hyack Swim Club. He was involved in many extracurricular activities outside school including martial arts, swimming, basketball and Kumon. The teen was taken much too soon but lived his 15 years "to the fullest extent".

A funeral for Wong is planned for Saturday.

Two scholarships have been set up in Wong's name, one through Coquitlam School District 43 and the other through the Hyack Swim Club, where he was a member.

"I admire your courage for standing up here, " Palmer said. He was a hardworking student, caring brother and loving son.

In the press conference, Palmer described Wong's murder as "senseless", "heartbreaking", and "tragic".

Officers have also reviewed surveillance video from businesses in the area, as well as dash-cam video provided by members of the public, Palmer said. "We do not have significant evidence to lay charges".

Palmer said he was not in a position to discuss any potential suspects or say what gun allegedly fired the bullet that killed Wong.

"I know the answer to that question, as to who fired the bullet, but I'm not prepared to share that with you right now", Palmer said of Wong's killer.

"However, we're not immune from violence", he said.

The gang violence raging across the Lower Mainland is the worst that the province has seen in a decade, Palmer said.

"The last big wave was when the whole Bacon Brother-Red Scorpion thing was happening".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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