NEWS

B.C. double homicide suspect had multiple targets

06/05/2012 03:12 EDT | Updated 08/05/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. Mounties say a double-homicide suspect who was shot and killed by police last week had multiple targets and had mapped out his escape routes.

At a press conference in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday afternoon, Insp. Kevin Hackett with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said Angus David Mitchell had targeted six people and six businesses in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island with whom he had conflicts dating back to 2009. Police say they are not publicly naming the businesses or individuals on Mitchell's list of targets.

Hackett said the evidence uncovered in Mitchell's car included the phone numbers of people he planned to target and maps outlining potential escape routes.

Hackett said Chinh (Vivian) Diem Huynh, 34, was on Mitchell's list, as was the sushi restaurant where she and Huong (Andy) Tran, 36, were found dead on May 27.

"Mitchell appears to have spent time gathering information about his intended victims and planning his entry and escape routes from each location," said Hackett.

Mitchell, 26, was killed May 30 in a confrontation with police, who tracked him down with the help of a woman who called 911.

Hackett said the consequences for Mitchell's hunt could have been "extreme" if not for that phone call.

'Really nervous'

Susanne Murphy, a 41-year-old Maple Ridge resident, said at a news conference Tuesday she was driving her dog to the end of the street for a walk when she saw Mitchell's van — just minutes after hearing a public warning on the radio describing the wanted van.

"I was really nervous," she said. "I didn't know if he was in his van. I didn't know if he was walking around the area, in the wooded area.

"I didn't know what to think. I just knew I had to call 911."

Murphy said she drove to a dike at the end of the road and was told by 911 operators to stay there and detain anybody coming off the dike.

Murphy said she was at the dike for at least an hour before she was allowed to go home, and later heard Mitchell had been shot and killed.

"Actually, honestly, I was dancing in the car," she said. "I was happy because I realized I did a good thing."

Motive unclear

Mitchell is also the suspect in the non-fatal shooting of his former landlord, a 51-year-old Burnaby man, who police say was also on the target list.

Police say they remain uncertain as to what motivated the attacks.

"There does seem to be some reason to believe he had conflict with some of the individuals and that's been determined by speaking with those individuals," Hackett said.

Police have not yet definitively identified the firearm used in the shootings as the same firearm seized by Victoria police in February.

Victoria police have said they had dealt with Mitchell in a Mental Health Act incident in February, which resulted in the seizure of a firearm.

Mitchell later made an application to have the firearm returned to him.

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