NEWS

Luka Gordic, 19, killed during violent Whistler May long weekend

05/18/2015 08:31 EDT | Updated 05/18/2016 05:59 EDT
One man is dead, and another is in hospital after two unrelated and separate stabbings less than 24 hours apart in Whistler over the May long weekend.

Family members have identified one of the victims as 19-year-old Luka Gordic from Burnaby, B.C. He was in Whistler with friends and cousins celebrating the holiday.

Condolences were pouring in Monday for Gordic on social media.

Police say the young man was stabbed multiple times shortly after midnight Sunday morning while walking from a nightclub to a hotel in Whistler Village. RCMP said he was taken to a local clinic, but died of his injuries.

Witness Borna Kazemnia said he saw groups of men in their 30s that night walking around the village picking on younger men.

"They're just walking around trying to fight...start things with younger people. And most of these younger people are my friends from high school and they come up to me and say...hey...this guy's trying to jack me. This guy's trying to take my stuff and I'm thinking, 'Why are you trying to pick on these 18-years-old when you're 30-years-old?'"

Less than 24 hours after Gordic was fatally stabbed another teen, also 19 and from the Lower Mainland, was stabbed just outside the village. He was sent to Vancouver for treatment, police said.

Long weekend rowdyism a growing problem

Whistler resident Alexa McLaughlin says the May long weekend has been getting so bad, some residents actually leave town and many of those that stay don't go out after midnight.

She says groups of people coming up from the Lower Mainland, moving through the village in gangs seem to be causing most of the trouble.

"There's been shootings and there's been stabbings and brawls in clubs. Bad things have been happening. And, there seems to be more and more of it,"  she said.

Whistler RCMP said they brought in extra police from Vancouver and Squamish in anticipation of May long weekend trouble. As a result, police said they were able to make several arrests "within minutes" of Gordic's stabbing.

Last year, there were four violent incidents including one involving a 19-year-old Surrey youth who was slashed in the face.

Despite Whistler's growing reputation for long weekend rowdyism, Sgt Rob Knapton said this level of violence is not typical.

"These calls are very unusual. I mean, this is the first death that we've seen like this in a quite a long time," he said.

Sea to Sky security officer Tim Houlihan says it was a busy weekend for him.

"Just a lot of rowdy partyers that we had to go evict and we take the assistance of the RCMP and we have to evict them from the hotel rooms because they damage, trash them."

The BC Coroners Service and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team are now investigating.    

MORE:cbcNews