South Vancouver area still safe despite recent shootings says VPD constable

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La Van Truong Phan, 32, was killed in his home by gunfire on Victoria Drive on Oct. 11. Photo by Vanessa Szpurko
La Van Truong Phan, 32, was killed in his home by gunfire on Victoria Drive on Oct. 11.
Photo by Vanessa Szpurko

Two recent shootings in south Vancouver have residents concerned about safety but Const. Brian Montague of the Vancouver Police Department says they shouldn’t be.

Shootings don’t need to worry locals

“It’s still a very safe neighbourhood,” said Montague. “As long as you’re not someone who’s engaged in the drug trade and gangs, it’s not something you should worry yourself with.”

“These are targeted attacks and the average person doesn’t need to be concerned.”

While La Van Truong Phan, 32, died after he was shot in his home on Victoria Drive on Oct. 11, another 32-year-old man was injured only a few days earlier in a drive-by on Oct. 8 at S.E. Marine Drive.

According to Montague, both victims are known to the police through the gang and drug scene. The cases are not linked.

Business owner ‘shocked’ over shooting

Most residents and business owners in south Vancouver were aware of the incidents but were hesitant to speak to The Voice for fear of potential retribution.

“We were really shocked,” said Subneez Sattar, an office manager on Victoria Drive. “It’s a very good neighbourhood. We’ve never had a shooting or even any kind of robbery. It was hard to us to see it in the house right next to us.”

Violence is common says college student

Langara student Jessica Sookero says the violence in the area doesn’t surprise her.

“I think it could happen anywhere. It happens downtown, it happens in Burnaby, it’s kind of all over the city,” she said. “As much as it’s close to home its just realistic about living in the city.”

“Even smaller cities like Kelowna have a lot of gang violence,” Sookero added.

Earlier this year, two men were charged in the death of Langara student Manraj Akalirai, who died after being attacked with a sword on Jan. 23.

Amritpal Dhillon, 20, and Amritpaul Rakhra, 18, are charged with the second-degree murder and manslaughter, respectively. They were arraigned in court on June 4 and are awaiting trial.

Reported by Vanessa Szpurko

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