New gang shooting a sign of the times 0
Sunday's shootings in Kelowna certainly were shocking for the brazenness of the execution-style hit on Red Scorpions leader Jonathan Bacon and the serious wounding of full patch Hells Angel Larry Amero as well as four others who were shot.
But really, despite all the posturing and bleating, it isn't surprising.
Nor is it the start of a new gang war.
It is merely the continuation of the ongoing gang war that has been raging for much of the last 20 years.
What is interesting is that Bacon and Amero were together along with, apparently, a member of the Independent Soldiers, another violent B.C. street gang.
Also interesting is the method used by the shooters inasmuch as the killer was masked and used automatic weapons firing seemingly indiscriminately into the Porsche Cayenne as the gangsters left the Delta Grand Hotel. This would seem to be a marked escalation in the struggle to control the lucrative drug market in the province.
Will there be retribution? Of course, there always is at some level.
The Hells Angels will not sit still with one of their members in critical condition in a hospital.
They will want to avenge this challenge to their supremacy. The question is against whom? Then there is always the possibility they were behind the hit.
The fact that members of these gangs were having brunch together at the Delta Grand blurs who was the actual target of the hit. Or, was the hit intended on all as an attempt to derail whatever plans they had to collaborate?
Whatever the answer, what is clear is that organized crime in this province is flourishing and the traditional efforts of police have only had a limited effect.
It's very expensive, in the millions of dollars, to mount a police operation to take down the criminal network of one full-patch Hells Angel. There are over a hundred in B.C. alone.
Then there are the various other Asian-based organized crime groups, the United Nations, the Independent Soldiers, Indo and Middle Eastern ethnic-based gangs, Eastern European crime groups and of course the traditional organized crime groups collectively known as the Mafia. They are all active in B.C.
Various governments in this province over the past 20 years have done little but pay lip service to the fight against organized crime. From the ineffectiveness of CLEU (Coordinated Law Enforcement Unit), to the internal politics that ultimately destroyed the Organized Crime Agency of B.C. (OCA) which morphed into the current Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), the police have been vastly under-funded for the job they are asked to do.
However shocking the Kelowna shooting was, it is merely a portent of things to come.