Langara criminology student dead in sword attack

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Manraj Akalirai, 19, has been identified as the victim of a fatal sword attack Wednesday on Elgin Street near East 47th Avenue in Vancouver.
Manraj Akalirai, 19, has been identified as the victim of a fatal sword attack Wednesday on Elgin Street near East 47th Avenue in Vancouver.

A Langara criminology student is dead in Vancouver’s first homicide of 2013.

Nineteen-year-old Manraj Akalirai died on his way to hospital after he was allegedly swarmed by a group of men.

Police have arrested five in connection with the murder, after four of the men arrived at hospital with injuries.

On Friday, The Province reported that police are questioning a sixth man in connection to the murder.

Multiple weapons were used including bats and clubs when the men allegedly attacked the victim in his vehicle.

The attackers allegedly smashed out the back window of the vehicle and dragged Akalirai onto the street.

A statement issued by a spokesperson of Langara College said, “Langara extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Manraj Akalirai. As this is still an ongoing police investigation we will not be making further comment at this time.”

The family of Akalirai issued a statement to the CBC:

Our family is devastated by the tragic events involving our son and brother, Manraj. We are still in shock and coping with our loss. Manraj was a well-mannered, humble, and respectful individual. At this time, our family would like privacy as we grieve the loss of our beloved son and brother.

Mourners gathered on Facebook to express grievances.

“I’ll never meet someone as Loyal, Genuine and Trustworthy as you. You didn’t go down without a fight bro, you’re a warrior, you’re a solider, but most of all you’re a Hero and that’s how we all knew and will remember you as,” wrote Jordan Rolfe.

“Manraj was the most charming kind and happiest guy I ever met in my entire life,” Stefano Tentes wrote. “There was a smile on his face everyday always laughing and cracking jokes.”

Police believe there may be connections to the drug trade or gang activity, although the family of Akalirai denies these claims.

Reported by Angela Holubowich, with files from The Province

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