Gang-related shooting in Canada’s Whistler village leaves two dead

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Two people have died after a brazen daylight shooting rocked the Canadian mountain resort of Whistler, British Columbia, on Sunday

Police responded to shots fired near the Sundial Hotel shortly after midday. One person died at the scene and a second succumbed to his injuries at the Whistler Medical Clinic, the Whistler Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement.

Police later said the shooting appeared to be gang-related. They named the victims as Satindera Gill and Meninder Dhaliwal. Dhaliwal’s brother was killed in a targeted hit last year in Vancouver, British Columbia, according to local media. Both victims of the Whistler shooting were known to police, according to homicide investigators.

“We believe this is a targeted incident” in relation to an ongoing gang conflict, said Sgt. Timothy Pierotti of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

“Although this was a brazen daytime shooting in a bustling village, there are no further risks to the public believed to exist, thanks to the quick response of Sea-to RCMP members. -Sky,” he added.

Several arrests were made and a burning vehicle believed to be associated with the shooting – a feature of local gang shootings – was nearby, police said.

Horrific videos circulating on social media showed two men lying face down outside the hotel in a pool of blood.

Sunday’s shooting shocked the resort community. People rushed for cover as reports of gunfire spread through the village.

Resort operator Whistler Blackcomb said in a statement on Twitter that he was closing for the day “out of respect for all those affected”. The elevators remained open while all remaining guests were descended from the mountain.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence, and we stand with our community,” the resort operator said.

Canada pledges to ‘freeze’ handgun sales and buy back assault weapons

Fatal shootings are rare in Canada compared to the United States, although they have increased in recent years, from 134 in 2013 to 277 in 2020, according to Statistics Canada. The percentage of homicides involving a firearm increased from 26% to 37% during this period. Most gun-related homicides committed by gangs in 2020 (63%) were committed with a handgun.

Canada introduced new gun control legislation in May that, if passed, would implement a “national freeze” on the purchase, import, transfer and sale of handguns. , thus capping the number of these weapons already present in the country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted at the time that gun violence had worsened in recent years. The nation “only has to look south of the border to know that if we don’t act, firmly and quickly, it gets worse and harder and harder to deal with,” he told the following mass shootings in Texas and across the United States. -Canadian border at Buffalo.

Amanda Coletta in Alberta, Canada, contributed to this report.

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