AN innocent 15-year-old student, Alfred Wong of Coquitlam, died in Saturday’s shootout just after 9:15 p.m. in the area of East Broadway and Ontario Street. He was travelling in a vehicle with his parents when he was shot.
He was seriously injured and taken to hospital. He was put on life support and was declared dead on Monday afternoon, a few hours after Vancouver Police Chief Constable Adam Palmer told the media that he was not expected to survive.
Wong was an immigrant from China and belonged to the Coquitlam Christ Church of China. He was a student at Pinetree Secondary in Coquitlam and was very talented and popular.
Police located three injured people, including Wong, who were immediately treated by ambulance.
Kevin Whiteside, 23, of Vancouver, who was targeted, was taken to hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries. He died on Monday afternoon.
A man in his 30s, also a Vancouver resident, sustained minor injuries. He was treated at the scene and released. Police said they believed that he was not targeted.
The Vancouver resident who received minor injuries told a radio station that his friend was driving him on Broadway when he heard a bang and thought it was a firework. However, when he looked to his right, he saw a person with a dark hoodie shooting away.
He said he told his friend to drive away quickly. Only when they stopped did they realize that the rear driver’s side window had been smashed out.
He didn’t even realize that he had been shot until police later pointed it out. There was a bullet hole in the headrest where he was sitting. The bullet had just grazed his face.
The police are examining the vehicle for forensic evidence.
Investigators believe that Whiteside exchanged gunfire with at least one other person during Saturday’s incident. Palmer told the media on Monday that there could have been more persons involved in the shooting and that was part of the investigation as police review videos and talk to witnesses.
“This is the type of call I absolutely dread and I am incredibly saddened and heartbroken. It is rare in Vancouver for an innocent victim to be caught up in this type of violence and this investigation remains a priority for us. We are pulling all available resources together,” said Palmer.
VPD has at least 50 officers investigating this shooting, and is committed to solving this case, he added.
Whiteside is known to police.
He was convicted for several offences in the past. These included assault with a weapon, possession for the purpose of trafficking, breaking and entering and possession of a firearm.
Investigators believe that there are still people who may have witnesses this shooting and have yet to call the police. If you have any information regarding this incident, call investigators at 604-717-2500.
Investigators are also making another appeal to the public for video. Investigators believe that some people may have captured the incident and the aftermath on their cell phones and/or dash cam recordings. Detectives are asking anyone who may have this footage, and have not yet shared it with police, to call investigators at 604-717-2500.
These are Vancouver’s first and second homicides of 2018.