POLITICS

B.C. man who shot three people in two incidents had a target list: police

06/05/2012 05:16 EDT | Updated 08/05/2012 05:12 EDT
SURREY, B.C. - The man suspected of killing two people in a sushi restaurant and shooting another man had detailed plans to target six businesses and six people across Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, police say.

Angus Mitchell, 26, was killed in a shootout last Wednesday with police officers who had tracked him down with the help of a woman who called 911.

If it hadn't been for that call, the consequences of Mitchell's hunt could have been "extreme," said Insp. Kevin Hackett, the officer in charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team investigating.

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

Susanne Murphy, a 41-year-old Maple Ridge resident, said at a news conference Tuesday she was driving her dog, Tuco, a shepherd-lab cross, to the end of the street for a walk when she saw Mitchell's van.

Just minutes before, she had heard 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.

At that location she was more than 500 metres away from the van.

She said she didn't see Mitchell, but she stopped two people, including a man who stayed at the scene with her.

Murphy said she was at the dike for at least an hour before she was allowed to go home.

Murphy said she heard Mitchell had been shot and had died while listening to the radio in her car and driving her dog to another park for a walk.

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

Details of Mitchell's planned attacks included maps, addresses and telephone numbers, but police 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.

Sgt. Jennifer Pound, a spokeswoman for the homicide investigations team, said the woman killed in the sushi restaurant and the restaurant itself were both on the list, but the male victim was not.

Police have identified the victims as Huong (Andy) Tran, 36, the owner of the restaurant, and Chinh (Vivian) Diem Huyhn, 34, an employee at the eatery and a single mother of a young daughter.

Meantime, police have also not yet definitively identified the firearm used in the shootings as the same firearm seized by Victoria police in February, said Pound.

Victoria police have said previously that 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.