A forum on gangs was held in Surrey, B.C., Saturday in honour of Chris Mohan — the innocent victim of a gang shooting.
Mohan was one of two innocent bystanders killed in a 2007 shooting in a Surrey, B.C., high-rise that left six people dead.
The forum was organized by Mohan's mother, Eileen, who hopes what happened to her son doesn't happen again.
"My son's birthday is on May 31st and he would have been 27 years old," she said.
But police say prosecuting gangsters is tough because witnesses are often unwilling to speak out.
"We often have people who are shot stabbed and clinging onto life, and when they recover we go to them and ask them for cooperation and they refuse," said Supt. Tom McCluskie with the B.C. Gang Task Force. "They tell us to get lost, essentially."
'Like a get rich quick scheme'
Derek Woo, who lost his uncle and father to gang violence, was at the forum.
"I lost my dad this past October," he said. "It obviously rocked my family and we're still obviously quite shaken."
Also in attendance was Puneet Rangi, whose brother is custody waiting trial for alleged gang-related crimes.
"With the lifestyle that they've chosen, they get everything," she said. "It's like a get rich quick scheme. You get everything you want and it seems alright until you get in trouble for it and now you have to pay the consequences."
The forum came up with several recommendations to keep kids from joining gangs, most targeted at parents, including:
- A confidential tip line to report gang activity.
- A support group where parents can get help for at-risk kids.
- An exit program to help gang members who want out.
- More educational talks by reformed gangsters and victims.
Officials are calling for a provincewide solution.
"There's no easy solution. It has to be multi-faceted and everybody has a role to play," said Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts.
The challenge will be deterring out whose responsibility it is to implement the recommendations.