News Local

Gang police: Toronto shooting localized and has "no effect" in B.C.

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Local organized crime police do not have plans to heighten enforcement in reaction to a mass gang shooting at an outdoor party in Toronto late Monday, believing the situation "localized" to the eastern province.

"We don't feel that the situation in Ontario in any way heightens the situation here," said Sgt. Bill Whalen of the B.C.'s organized crime unit. "It's a localized situation in Ontario and most of the gangs tend to be regional in that area, so that type of incident in Ontario doesn't have any effect here."

Two innocents were killed in the "gang war" type Toronto shooting, with another 23 people injured, including a 22-month-old toddler.

Gang warfare in Vancouver has also resulted in high numbers of people injured in a single shooting incident in the past. Ten people outside an Oak Street restaurant two years ago were left injured after being peppered by bullets.

None of the injured in the Vancouver December 2010 shooting were innocents, however, and police attributed the attack to retaliation for the killing of prominent gangster Gurmit Dhak.

Dhak's organization is still part of ongoing gang rivalry in the Lower Mainland that police have linked to other shootings.

"Absolutely, it's something that's happened here in Vancouver. And as Chief (Bill) Blair said this morning in Toronto, gun violence in any community is unacceptable," said Vancouver Police Department Const. Lindsey Houghton Tuesday.