Bullet holes are seen in the windshield and door of a vehicle after Brothers Keepers member Jaskeert Kalkat, 23, was killed during a shooting in Burnaby on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Bullet holes are seen in the windshield and door of a vehicle after Brothers Keepers member Jaskeert Kalkat, 23, was killed during a shooting in Burnaby on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Expert says lull in Lower Mainland killing, shootings mean B.C. gangs just reloading

‘Gangsters become so hunted that they feel they have to eliminate their rivals before they get killed themself,’ says former Vancouver police Insp. Michael Porteous

Violence caused by a feud between Lower Mainland gangs appears to have lulled after a series of brazen, public shootings that saw more than 20 people killed this year.

Many hope the silence is a sign that the warring resurgence has come to an end, but former Vancouver Police Insp. Michael Porteous, who worked to investigate gang-fueled crime for more than three decades, is urging caution.

“Most of the gang killings in this region go in cycles. There are peaks and valleys,” Porteous said, noting the last spate of noticeable shootings was in 2012.

That’s when Sandip Duhre, 36, of the Duhre Group – which controlled parts of the Fraser Valley drug trade at the time – was murdered in a hail of bullets at a downtown Vancouver restaurant.

It’s believed by the former investigator that Duhre’s murder may have been a tit-for-tat retaliation for the shooting that took the life of notorious Red Scorpion Jonathan Bacon, 30, in Kelowna the previous year.

Nowadays, the main gangs at play in the Lower Mainland are still the Red Scorpions and United Nations gang, Porteus said, and smaller criminal groups often make alliances with them.

Bullets were everywhere after the Kelowna shooting of 30-year-old Red Scorpion gangster Jonathan Bacon on Aug. 14, 2011. (Black Press Media files)

Bullets were everywhere after the Kelowna shooting of 30-year-old Red Scorpion gangster Jonathan Bacon on Aug. 14, 2011. (Black Press Media files)

Killing as a means of survival

“What’s happening is that gangsters become so hunted that they feel they have to eliminate their rivals before they get killed themself,” Porteus said.

“Then, when their rivals are taken down, gangs can claim their drug territory as their own.”

This was the case in 2007 when the leader of the Red Scorpions ordered a hit on a drug-dealing rival in Surrey during the province’s deadliest gang shooting to date.

Six men were gunned down at an apartment building. In court, Jamie Bacon said the Red Scorpions were forcing existing dealers to surrender their lines so they could take their turf.

RELATED: Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

Same gang war, younger players

What’s mainly different now is the age of the gang members, said Kash Heed retired West Vancouver Police Chief and former Solicitor General of B.C.

Previously, the average Lower Mainland gangster arrested was 25 to 28 years old. Nowadays, most of them are 19 to 20-years old and hungry to prove themselves through violence.

“Affluent or not, most of the Lower Mainland gang members killed and arrested the most are of South Asian descent. Many of them still live at home with mom and dad,” Heed said, adding that gangsters killed leave a void easily filled by up-and-comers.

Carrying out a successful hit gives the young members instant credibility.

RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex after Brothers Keepers member Jaskeert Kalkat, 23, was killed during a shooting in Burnaby on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex after Brothers Keepers member Jaskeert Kalkat, 23, was killed during a shooting in Burnaby on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Violence spills into Alberta

The latest act of violence stemming from Lower Mainland gang activity is the death of 25-year-old Gurkeert Kalkat in Calgary on May 22. Police said he was a member of the Brothers Keepers gang.

“There is a good probability that these offenders travelled to Calgary with the sole purpose of committing this homicide,” said Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the city’s homicide unit.

His death played out much like that of his younger brother, Jaskeert Kalkat, 23, who was killed by a spray of gunfire in the parking lot of a Burnaby strip mall nine days prior.

RELATED: Delta police anti-gang team 1st in B.C. to use body-worn cameras



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

B.C. gang problemlowermainlandShooting

Just Posted

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

Cropped photo: Silver Screen Drive-in will be in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza.
Summer drive-in returns to Trail unveiling blockbuster movies

PHOTOS: Scroll to bottom for a trip down memory lane to the Auto Vue Drive-In

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read