BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – Homicide investigators say all three people shot at the Cactus Club in Burnaby Thursday night were targeted, and the shooting was part of the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict.
One person — 23-year-old Jaskeert Kalkat — was killed, while another man and a woman suffered severe injuries but are expected to survive.
“(Kalkat) was known to police, he was known to be affiliated to gang activity,” said Sgt. Frank Jang with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. NEWS 1130 has learned Kalkat was linked to the Brothers Keepers.
“It’s still early in the investigation but we believe all three [people] were targeted in the shooting last night (Thursday),” Jang explained.
The shooting took place in the parking lot of Burnaby’s Market Crossing around 8:30 p.m. There were bystanders in the area when shots rang out.
Jang confirms a vehicle found burning in South Surrey in the area of 184 Street and 16 Avenue about a half hour after the shooting is the same one the shooters used in their get-away from Market Crossing.
IHIT is pleading with anyone who may have captured dashcam footage of the suspect vehicle — a white SUV — along Highway 91, 99, and 16th Avenue between South Surrey and Burnaby to contact them.
“We need you to check that footage and we need you to contact us right away — contact the Burnaby RCMP, contact IHIT through our information line, but do so right away. It is crucial evidence and we need it,” Jang urged.
The urgency in getting the public to relay information to law enforcement was echoed by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth earlier in the day Friday.
“One of the things that’s critical in terms of solving investigations is getting information, and people out there may not realize it but they may have seen something. They may have some information. They may think that it’s insignificant. What they should do is report information to the police because what they think is insignificant, when added to other pieces of information that the police have, suddenly becomes important, suddenly forms a pattern, suddenly allows police to identify a suspect or suspects and make a crack in a case,” Farnworth explained.
He noted some cases are resolved by police quickly. However, in other instances, criminals take matters into their own hands.
“As police have said: this isn’t a resource issue,” Farnworth said. “What is an issue, and often happens, many of these crimes, what police have found out, is that a deceased victim, for example, is the main suspect in other murders. And so that is a challenge because the person who committed the crime has also become another statistic.”
Thursday’s shooting in Burnaby was the 11th on the Lower Mainland in less than a month. It followed very public shootings over the weekend, including the one that left one person dead outside a Vancouver International Airport terminal.
Many experts have said there’s been a recent trend of younger people joining the gang lifestyle.
Jang isn’t mincing words when it comes to those involved in the violence.
“These are reckless young men who happen to have access to very dangerous weapons, who are using our public streets to conduct revenge killings based on money, drugs, whatever motive,” he said. “They waged war on us, the community, and all that is decent about our community when they opened fire in north Langley at a skating complex where there’s a daycare, putting young children and parents in danger. They put us in danger when they opened fire at a skate part in Coquitlam, at a shopping mall in Langley, where parents and young children go to buy sporting goods and toys for birthday parties. And again, they waged war on us, the community, when they opened fire in a public place, such as Market Crossing, putting patrons, who are simply enjoying an evening outside, [at risk.]”
In addition to gathering information from the public, Jang also reached out to families who may know about loved ones’ involvements with the criminal lifestyle.
“When they hangout, affiliate themselves with people in this conflict… you are in the cross fires and you need to get out.” – @thefrankjang on the two taken to hospital last night, he says they were aware of their friend’s involvement in gang life. @CityNewsVAN @NEWS1130 https://t.co/de4aN7QpZV pic.twitter.com/xJPTiKIjaV
— Ashley Burr (@AshleyBurr_) May 14, 2021
He’s pleading with these families to come forward, adding help is available.
“We don’t want further violence. But let us be clear: for those who are involved in this, we are coming after you. We are coming after every single one of you,” Jang said.
Meanwhile, senior police leaders from across the region say the level of integration between departments right now is “unprecedented.” In a statement, released after a meeting with the public safety minister, the region’s top cops say the disregard for public safety that gangs have shown is unacceptable, adding officers are doing everything they can to hold those responsible accountable.
-With files from Monika Gul, Charlie Carey, and Lisa Steacy