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Tough to stop shootings, gruesome violence: gang expert

Last Updated Oct 27, 2016 at 8:02 am PST

Police respond to calls of a body found on Robertson Crescent in Langley on October 26th, 2016. (Martin MacMahon, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Ranj Dhaliwal says retaliation can be common and be swift and severe

Memorial this weekend for high-ranking Hells Angel member killed this month

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Just over a week after a senior member of the Hells Angels was shot dead in Langley, there have been several other brazen incidents in Metro Vancouver, including a daylight shooting in Delta, a targeted hit of reportedly another HA member in Burnaby and yesterday’s gruesome murder scene in Langley.

While police have yet to link the recent acts of violence, one local gang expert suggests any time investigators characterize a shooting as connected to organized crime it leaves only two options.

“It’s either one group going after another or it’s some type of retaliation,” explains Ranj Dhaliwal, an author and political activist involved in helping at-risk youth. “And retaliation is one of those things where the police will never know when it’s going to happen unless they catch a tip or the person is under surveillance.”

Dhaliwal says retaliation can be swift and severe. “It’s to send a message to everyone, especially the competition, that you don’t mess around with that organized crime group, gang or whoever it is and there is only so much [police] can do,” he tells NEWS 1130.

“If someone gets shot tonight, tomorrow morning there could be a rival gang member shot as well. These are the types of things where it’s not very easy for police to know what’s going on. First you have to identify the victims and figure out what types of groups they are with, but by then there are already plans being made. They know who shot their guy and they want to go after them. Sometimes it’s immediate, within a day or two or even just hours.”

Dhaliwal adds another complicating factor for investigators is that retaliatory hits can be made by contract killers. “Stopping something isn’t that easy either. If there’s a crew going in to do a hit right now and they get busted, there’s going to somebody waiting to carry out the hit after anyway. That person is usually marked pretty good.”

A memorial for Bob Green, the high-ranking member of the Hells Angels shot to death in Langley on October 18th, will be held on Saturday afternoon at the Fraserview Hall in Vancouver. He had been a member of the biker gang for more than 20 years, first as part of the Hells Angels East End chapter, then as part of the elite Nomads chapter.