BRITISH COLUMBIA

Arun Bains, Surrey Shooting Victim, Was 'A Fine Young Man': Family

04/21/2015 06:01 EDT | Updated 06/21/2015 05:59 EDT
SURREY, B.C. - The 22-year-old man killed in an ongoing flurry of Vancouver-area gun violence was not a criminal or gang member and was looking forward to a bright future, says his family.

Arun Bains died in hospital on Sunday after police responded to reports of gunfire in Surrey and found a vehicle believed to be linked to the shooting had crashed into a utility pole.

Bains is the only person killed in connection with nearly two dozen shootings in the city, and neighbouring Delta, since March 9.

His family issued a statement Tuesday, saying they are still trying to come to terms with his death and their pain is extraordinary.

"Arun was not a criminal," the statement says. "He was not a gang member. He was loved by everyone who knew him.

"Arun was a fine young man who loved his family and had a bright future ahead of him."

Police have determined that 14 of 22 shootings in both communities during the past six weeks are linked to a dispute between groups of South Asian and Somalian descent.

They said previously that Bains had associations with people involved in the street-level drug-trade conflict.

A day after Bains's death, police and Surrey's Mayor Linda Hepner implored those behind the violence to stop.

They announced plans to meet with the suspects, curtail their movements and change their behaviour.

They said they would talk with family, friends and associates of the suspects, as well as community members, urging all to speak out.

Police have previously said that many victims have refused to co-operate, offering flippant explanations like "the bullets fell from the sky," "I will take care of it myself," and "Don't you worry about it. No need for you cops to be here."

The Bains' family said they support the community's efforts to end the violence and spare another family similar pain.

"We strongly urge anyone with information about this incident or any criminal activity to contact the police immediately," they said in a statement.

Provincial NDP Leader John Horgan identified Bains on Monday as the nephew of Harry Bains, one of the party's members of the legislature, whose riding is in Surrey.

Horgan said he would attend a community meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening at a local high school that was set up to address the violence.

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