GAVINDER Singh Grewal, 30, of North Vancouver, who was well known to police and associated to gang activity, was found dead in an apartment in North Vancouver last week on Friday night. (See photo released by IHIT)
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team that took conduct of the investigation said last Saturday that though it was early in the investigation, they believe his murder was targeted and linked to other gang violence in the Lower Mainland.
On December 22, just before 8 p.m., the North Vancouver RCMP received a report of a male found dead in an apartment in the 1500-block of Fern Street. The death was deemed suspicious in nature and IHIT was called in.
IHIT said it was working closely with its partners from the North Vancouver RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Section and the B.C. Coroner’s Service to gather evidence.
In order to further the ongoing homicide investigation, investigators confirmed the identity of the victim on Saturday.
IHIT Cpl. Frank Jang said: “There are people who knew Mr. Grewal that may have information that could help us solve his murder. I urge these individuals to come forward and speak with IHIT.”
The killer or killers apparently managed to get into the building from the front door and then went up the stairwell as access to any floor requires a card. CTV on Wednesday night showed the broken lock on the stairwell door and the
handle lying on the floor where the victim lived. Police had collected fingerprints from that area.
Tenants said that there had been a number of complaints about the apartment where the victim lived. There were loud bangs like that of a bowling ball being dropped late at
night. But apparently no action was taken by anyone.
BACK in March 2015, Abbotsford Police issued what they called “an important public safety notification” warning the public about three men it believed posed “a risk of significant harm” to the safety of the community and anyone who may associate with them. The three men were involved in an ongoing conflict and a criminal lifestyle that included violence, drugs, and weapons. Police released their photos in an unusual move.
“We believe it is in the public’s best interest that the identities of these men are known so people associating with or in close physical proximity to them understand their safety could be in danger,” said Sgt. Casey Vinet at the time. “Efforts to curtail growing tensions between these individuals are being made but we are very concerned that violence could occur in public settings.”
One of the three was Grewal, who police said had a criminal conviction for extortion and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. He was prohibited from possessing firearms.
IN June 2016, almost six years after the crime, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced that Gavinder Grewal, then 29, and Jason Himpfen, then 41, had been arrested and charged in the homicide of Mandy Johnson and the attempted murder of Gator Browne in Abbotsford.
Grewal was charged with manslaughter in relation to Johnson as well as the attempted murder of Browne. Himpfen was charged with second-degree murder in relation to Johnson and the attempted murder of Browne.
On July 28, 2010, shortly after 3 a.m., Johnson was shot and killed while sitting in the passenger seat of a Chevy Tahoe in the 31100-block of Polar Avenue in Abbotsford. Another victim, Browne, who was the boyfriend of Mandy at the time, was shot at but no bullets struck him and he managed to flee the scene.
In the initial stages of this investigation the threshold for homicide-related charges was not met. IHIT along with the Abbotsford Police Department worked together tenaciously to reach that threshold and six years later, succeeded in doing so.
Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551- IHIT (4448), or by email at [email protected]
Should you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.