Sword used in Vancouver’s first homicide of 2013 0
A woman claiming to be the girlfriend of a man swarmed and killed with a sword in East Vancouver talks to police on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. (CHRIS CAMPBELL, 24 HOURS)
A “brutal” targeted attack that included a sword, bats and clubs left a 19-year-old man dead Wednesday night in Vancouver’s first murder of 2013, said the Vancouver Police Department.
The man died after being attacked by at least five men on Elgin Street at 47th Avenue at around 10:30 p.m., said Const. Brian Montague, who did not release the victim’s name.
Police arrested five men between the ages of 19 and 21 in connection with the attack, but only three remain in custody and none have been charged yet, Montague said.
Four of the suspects were arrested at Vancouver General Hospital after hospital staff reported them coming in with various injuries. A fifth man was arrested at Ross Street and East 41st Avenue.
“Our belief is they were all involved in the attack,” Montague said.
Police said a scabbard was recovered, but not the sword used in the murder. The sword apparently delivered the fatal wound but police wouldn’t confirm reports the victim was decapitated.
“There was lots of yelling, scraping noises and cars screeching,” said a neighbour who called 911 and who didn’t want her name printed.
The victim did not have a criminal record, but was known to police, said Montague, who would not rule out the murder was gang related.
“There are suggestions there are connections to the drug trade,” said Montague, adding there are “loose gang connections.”
The next morning, a young woman who claimed she was the victim’s girlfriend of three years appeared on scene crying. She wouldn’t give her name or name the victim, but said he was a Langara College student who studied criminology. She became worried after she couldn’t contact the victim last night. She then read about the murder and the neighbourhood on the Internet. She said the victim’s friend lived on Elgin Street.
The woman said the victim was “really sweet and caring, always looked out for his friends.”
The motive and exactly what happened is still being pieced together by investigators due to the number of people still being interviewed.
“The stories are a little convoluted,” Montague said.
A silver Honda SUV was towed away from the scene with a broken back window.