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Gang shooting suspect vehicle found on fire in North Vancouver

Investigators have now released descriptions of two suspects wanted in the brazen public shooting

Update: Monday, March 15

Homicide investigators have recovered the vehicle used in a gang hit at the North Vancouver Real Canadian Superstore parking lot Friday (March 11) and they are now asking the public to help identify two suspects.

The shooting left 34-year-old Milad Rahimi dead. He was a well-known figure in the organized crime world with both local and international connections, according to police, who believe it was a targeted shooting.

First responders were called to the 300 block of Tempe Crescent around 7 p.m. Saturday, where the suspect Mazda 3 with stolen licence plates was found on fire.

Immediately after the shooting, which took place around 2:45 p.m. on Friday, the RCMP reduced traffic flow to just one lane leaving the North Shore on Highway 1 in hopes of nabbing the suspect, but investigators now say the vehicle may have been dumped on Tempe around that time.

Witnesses have also now come forward with descriptions of two suspects. The driver of the Mazda was wearing a black hoodie, grey pants that had either patchwork or a torn pattern, black shoes, and a medical mask. They were carrying a grey backpack with a single strap. The passenger wore a three-quarter-length black jacket with a hood and a very distinct white symbol on the left shoulder, as well as grey pants and black shoes.

“Our investigators have been working tirelessly to further this investigation, and we do ask the North Shore community and the public to come forward and assist us,” said Det.-Cpl. Sukhi Dhesi, “If anyone recognizes or saw these people in the 300 block of Tempe Crescent in North Vancouver or the surrounding area, you're asked to contact IHIT immediately.”

Specifically, they are seeking any witnesses, dash-cam or surveillance footage from the area, between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. on the day of the shooting, as well as between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on the night the car was set alight.

Witnesses to the shooting aftermath described a chaotic scene. Jane Larsen, who works nearby, said she and her colleagues heard multiple shots fired.

"There was a bunch of people standing around a man who had been shot, I believe in the belly and maybe in the hand," she said. "He was still alive."

A witness named Derek, who asked that his last name not be used, said he arrived at the scene before paramedics were there to treat the victim. He said a bystander was offering assistance.

Derek said it appeared the victim was attempting to back up the BMW when he was shot. He then lost control and crashed into an SUV, parked next to his own vehicle.

“[Police] actually said 'Check it for bullet holes,' because there were a bunch of shells all over the ground around it,” he said. “It looked like he was bleeding out of his chest… He didn’t look like he was responsive too much.”

Speaking to reporters on the day after the shooting, North Vancouver RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries addressed the brazen nature of the crime.

“Without a doubt, this is very alarming for the community. This is a peaceful community and this is a grocery store where families bring their kids every day,” he said. “It was extremely dangerous and this kind of violence has to stop.”

Desi acknowledged the impact the gang violence would have on the otherwise quiet North Shore, and stressed that victims services are available to anyone who may be affected, through either North Vancouver RCMP or IHIT.

“We know that this is a very traumatic event,” she said. “Everybody deals with these circumstances differently.”

Anyone with information about the murder is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. Should you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or make a report on the Crime Stoppers website.

 

Suspect vehicle web
Police and towing contractors prepare to remove a Mazda 3 associated with the March 11, 2022 North Vancouver gang shooting at Superstore. |. supplied

Update: Saturday, March 12.

Homicide investigators have identified the man shot to death in the North Vancouver Real Canadian Superstore parking lot Friday (March 11) as 34-year-old Milad Rahimi.

"Mr. Rahimi was known to police and his murder has all the markings of a targeted incident," a release from IHIT stated.

IHIT released Rahimi’s name and photo to the public on Saturday in hopes of advancing the investigation.

“We are hoping to speak to Mr. Rahimi’s friends and associates in an effort to build a timeline of his activities for the days leading up to his death,” the statement read. “We are in the early stages of the investigation and our investigators are working tirelessly to complete priority tasks. We are working closely with the Lower Mainland Integrated Teams, the North Vancouver RCMP, BC Coroners Service and CFSEU-BC.”

Police also released video of what they believe to be the shooting suspect’s vehicle, a newer model dark blue Mazda 3 hatchback. According to police, the suspect driver fled north on Seymour Boulevard and then turned west onto Mt. Seymour Parkway. Anyone who was in the area between 2:30 and 3 p.m. and may have dashcam footage is urged to contact police.

“IHIT will be working with our policing partners including CFSEU-BC in an effort to mitigate any further violence,” the statement read.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the IHIT Information Line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.


The original story is published below

The man shot in the North Vancouver Real Canadian Superstore parking lot Friday afternoon has died.

IHIT, the RCMP’s homicide investigative team, has now been called in.

“When officers arrived at the scene, they found one adult male victim suffering from gunshot wounds. Despite all efforts to revive the victim, he succumbed to his injuries at the scene,” a release from the RCMP stated Friday evening. “Based on the investigative theory in this initial phase, this incident does not appear to be a random act.”

Jane Larsen, who works nearby, said she and her colleagues heard multiple shots around 2:45 p.m.

"There was a bunch of people standing around a man who had been shot, I believe in the belly and maybe in the hand," she said. "He was still alive."

Witnesses told Jeremy Liddle, who arrived shortly after, that someone in a station wagon fired six shots into a BMW.

Eelco Fontein said the shooting happened near the second entrance to the parking lot of the store, at 333 Seymour Blvd.

"I heard bang, bang, bang. ... I thought it was fireworks," he said. "When I came out, the whole place was loaded with police cars, fire trucks, ambulance."

At least one victim was taken away in an ambulance.

A witness named Derek, who asked that his last name not be used, told the North Shore News he arrived at the scene before paramedics were there to treat the victim. He said a bystander was offering assistance.

Derek said it appeared the victim was attempting to back up the BMW when he was shot. He then lost control and crashed into an SUV, parked next to his own vehicle.

“[Police] actually said 'Check it for bullet holes,' because there were a bunch of shells all over the ground around it,” he said.

Derek described the victim as having a shaved head and a beard, and a number of tattoos.

“It looked like he was bleeding out of his chest,” he said. “He didn’t look like he was responsive too much,” he said.

First responders from various agencies have been on the scene since.

RCMP members have reduced the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing to one lane southbound, making Highway 1 and all its feeder routes extremely congested.

 

more to come...