UPDATE: Sukhdeep Singh Sandhu, 26, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault, and one count of dangerous driving in the Richmond banquet hall shooting.
VANCOUVER - The latest in a series of shootings in Metro Vancouver has police concerned about the potential for innocent bystanders getting hurt in the crossfire of what could be a return to gang-related violence in the region.
RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen said a man who is known to police was arrested five minutes after four people were shot in a targeted hit Wednesday night at a packed banquet hall in Richmond, B.C.
"We have a male in custody but we have not determined what his role was in this shooting," he said Thursday.
Thiessen said the suspect was taken into custody a short distance from the scene, where 150 people were gathered.
"Police recognize these types of incidents are very concerning to the public. The potential for innocent people to be hurt is high."
Since Sunday, nine people have died and five others have been injured in several violent incidents in Metro Vancouver, Hope and Vanderhoof.
Police have said at least five of the incidents were either gang or crime related.
Mounties said two men were critically injured in the banquet-hall shooting while two others suffered less serious gunshot wounds and that all the victims are in stable condition.
Mark Gordienko, spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada, said some union members and others rented the hall for a private party and found themselves in the midst of the chaos when shots rang out.
"Some members and non-members had a party in Richmond to celebrate getting into membership and something happened there," he said.
"I am shocked and saddened by this incident that has affected some of our members."
Gordienko said he does not know whether anyone associated with the union was among the injured.
In neighbouring Surrey, Mounties are investigating three targeted shootings that have claimed four lives in that city this week.
Homicide teams identified known gang associate Manjinder Singh Hairan, 29, as the man shot to death early Tuesday morning in a north Surrey neighbourhood.
The attack came just 36 hours after a double murder in a Surrey apartment garage left John McGiveron and Geordie Carlow, both 33, dead of gunshot wounds.
Just hours before that Jan. 13 incident, police said Manjot Dhillon was the victim of a targeted, gang-related hit, but investigators have not linked any of those crimes and noted the Richmond shooting is unrelated.
Gang violence rocked Metro Vancouver in 2011, when police issued a public warning saying anyone near gangster Sukh Dhak, who was also associated with the so-called Duhre group, could be in danger.
Dhak and his bodyguard Thomas Mantel were gunned down in Burnaby, a month after notorious gangster Jonathan Bacon was shot dead in a daring gangland hit in Kelowna, where several of his associates were injured.
Bacon's brother, Jamie Bacon, is among four men accused of first-degree murder in a 2007 mass killing, in which six people — including two innocent bystanders — were shot in a Surrey highrise.
Jamie Bacon's middle brother, Jarrod, is serving a 12-year sentence on drug trafficking charges.
Various gang trials have clogged the courts in B.C., and suspects charged in the Surrey highrise murders have not yet had their cases heard.
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Sikh Temple Shooting
Mourners attend the funeral and memorial service for the six victims of the Sikh temple of Wisconsin mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wis., Friday, Aug 10, 2012. The public service was held in the Oak Creek High School. Three other people were wounded in the shooting last Sunday at the temple. Wade Michael Page, 40, killed five men and one woman, and injured two other men. Authorities say Page then ambushed the first police officer who responded, shooting him nine times and leaving him in critical condition. A second officer then shot Page in the stomach, and Page took his own life with a shot to the head. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
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A policeman stands outside a Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., where a heavily armed man opened fire, killing at least 12 people and injuring 50 others.
May 2012: Seattle, Wash.
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April 2012: Oakland, California
Alameda County Community Food Bank workers move a memorial from a parking spot next to Oikos University in Oakland, Calif., Monday, April 23, 2012. Some students and staff members have arrived to resume class at Oikus University, the small California Christian college where seven people were shot to death earlier in April.
November 2009: Fort Hood, Texas
Panou Xiong, center, is comforted by family and friends following a Remembrance Ceremony commemorating the one-year anniversary of the worst mass shooting on a U.S. military base, where 13 people were killed and dozens wounded,, Nov. 5, 2010 in Fort Hood, Texas. Xiong's son, Pfc. Kham Xiong, was killed in the shooting. <em><strong>CORRECTION:</strong> This slide originally said that the Fort Hood shooting took place in November 2010. The shooting took place in November 2009.</em>
March 2009: Kinston, Alabama
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August 2007: Blacksburg, Va.
An unidentified family member of slain Virginia Tech student Daniel Alejandro Prez Cueva, pauses at his memorial stone after the dedication of the memorial for the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting in Blacksburg, Va., Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007. More than 10,000 people gathered on the main campus lawn as Virginia Tech dedicated 32 memorial stones for those killed by a student in a mass shooting on campus last April.
April 1999: Littleton, Colo.
This aerial shows the news media compound near Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., April 21, 1999. Media from around the world poured into the area after 15 people were killed during a shooting spree inside the school.