Abbotsford Police: Varinderpal Singh Gill poses significant risk to public (updated Thursday)

Varinderpal Singh Gill Photos: APD
Varinderpal Singh Gill
Photos: APD

THE Abbotsford Police Department announced on Wednesday that it has determined that Varinderpal Singh Gill, 19, who is involved in the gang conflict in Abbotsford and in the Lower Mainland, poses a significant risk to the public.

The APD said it believes he poses a serious risk to other gang members in the conflict. He is also at risk of violence by other gang members. Because many gang shootings occur in public places, this means Gill’s presence in public places creates a serious risk to public safety as well.

Varinderpal Gill is very tall and slim (6’,2” and 165 lbs). He often goes by the name “VP”.

The APD said it is taking the unusual step of asking that anyone who sees Gill in a public place within Abbotsford to contact the police by calling 911. Where possible, members of the APD will respond to that location and take steps to ensure the public is kept safe.

Abbotsford Police Sgt. Judy Bird told The VOICE: “We’ve done this once before, which may be a message to the community as to how concerned we are with respect to this young man’s behaviour as well as his actions within our community. That’s what caused this concern.”

[In March 2015, Abbotsford had issued a public warning regarding three South Asians, all of whom they said had had extensive police contact and had ties to Abbotsford: Sandeep Singh Sidhu, then 27; Jimi Singh Sandhu, then 25, who was deported to India in 2016 and was back in jail there last June in connection to an international drug syndicate; and Gavinder Singh Grewal, then 27, who was killed in his North Vancouver apartment in December 2017.]

[Surrey RCMP did the same in March 2015, when then-Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge, Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, announced the names of five individuals who were allegedly involved in four related shootings in Surrey at the time: Pardip Brar, then 20, of Delta, who was shot dead just this year on March 9; Indervir Johal, 21, of Surrey; Amrit Kular, 20, of Surrey; Sameh Mohammed, 20, of Surrey; and Pardeep Singh, 20, of Surrey (the only person whose photo was missing in the display), who was shot dead in the driveway of a home on August 29, 2017.]

Sgt. Judy Bird

Bird added: “Our message is that we find this behaviour unacceptable. Our number one priority is the safety of this community … We are doing our investigation and you know what, unfortunately, sometimes the criminal justice system doesn’t move as quickly as we want it – and that’s a problem. But we continue to investigate and liaise with young people who are getting involved with this lifestyle or people who have a concern with it. So what we are asking you to do is that if you see him, call us – we will come. It’s really that simple. If you are concerned, you don’t have to say who you are – stay where you are, stay where he is, and we will come.”

The VOICE had told Bird that community members say they are all terrified about an individual.

She said: “I know people are completely terrified. I get that, but us not saying anything at all is not helping.”

Police say that Gill has family in Abbotsford and is “very mobile.”

The Abbotsford Police Department is appealing to anyone with information to call it at 604-859-5225, text it at 222973 (abbypd), or to report anonymously to CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) or online at solvecrime.ca.

The murder of 19-year-old Gagandeep Singh Dhaliwal in Abbotsford on August 4 has shaken the community. A second victim in the same shooting was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

A family friend told the media that Dhaliwal had got home that night with his family after a wedding reception and was in the garage with his cousin when suddenly someone came over and started shooting at them.

Two witnesses told the media that they saw a man jumping over a fence. Another witness said: “I heard three shots and I heard screaming and the about five seconds later, I heard some car just peel out down the street. I came out running and there was people all over the street down there screaming and yelling.”

Dhaliwal was known to the local police, but did not have a criminal record. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) was called in to take conduct of the investigation. Police said that it was too early to say if the shooting was gang-related or drug-related or a personal conflict with somebody.