POLITICS

Hundreds attend forum on gun violence in Surrey, B.C., after string of shootings

04/22/2015 10:27 EDT | Updated 07/17/2015 06:59 EDT
SURREY, B.C. - More than 700 people who attended a forum on a recent spate of gunfire in Surrey, B.C., have been told they must speak up if they want to end the violence in their community.

The Tuesday night event followed 22 shootings in the city east of Vancouver and neighbouring Delta in the last six weeks, including one that killed a 22-year-old man.

Police have linked 14 of them to a dispute between gangs of South Asian and Somalian descent that's believed to involve territory and low-level drug trafficking.

Gurpreet Saran, who lost his son to violence two years ago, says a culture of silence is prevalent in the South Asian community.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner told the gathering that the senseless violence must stop, saying she's pained by the loss of life.

Arun Bains, who police say had known connections to the street-level drug trade, was shot and killed last weekend.

Investigators last week released photos of people they identified as victims in some of the shootings, saying they took the unusual step of naming victims because no one was co-operating with them, and public safety was at risk. (CKNW)