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Vancouver Gangs shouldn't be glorified, says murder victim's father

06/17/2015 02:25 EDT | Updated 06/17/2016 05:59 EDT
Bruce Davis has tried not to pay much attention to the recent gun violence in Surrey and North Delta.

It brings up terrible memories for the man whose daughter was killed outside a downtown Vancouver nightclub in 2004.

Rachel Davis, who was 23, was trying to stop a group of men from beating up a teenager when she was shot.

"I just find it too hard to talk about, not only from the emotional point of view but also trying to find out why," said Davis.

"After it happened, I spent probably a year or two trying to dig up through research what factors led up to this event. I mean, you'd have to devote your life and much more than that to try and make sense of it."

Frustration over few arrests

There have been more than 30 shootings in Surrey and North Delta since early March.

Police have linked 18 of them to a turf war over dial-a-dope lines in Newton.

"I believe this was an attempted takeover by one group from a group that already had a stronghold in that Newton area," said Joanne Boyle with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit..

"There was an attempt to take that over and a push to let it be known that the dialers that were there needed to find elsewhere to work."

More than 50 charges have been laid against 7 men allegedly linked to the turf war.

However, not a single arrest has been made in connection to any of the shootings.

"You can appreciate with those numbers, it's a task to stay on top of them," said Boyle.

"Members are working tirelessly to investigate each and every individual incident, regardless of the fact that these victims are not cooperating at all."

Anger over glorifying gangster lifestyles

After Rachel Davis was killed, several witnesses testified in court, even though they feared for their safety.

The information they provided was crucial in securing two first-degree murder convictions against Imran Sharif.

Investigators would love to see that level of cooperation now so that they can bring to justice the people responsible for the shootings in Surrey and Delta .

Police have complained that when they try to question the shooting victims in the hospital, they refuse to talk.

"It's not for me to judge those people, but what bothers me is the aura that seems to hover around some of this gang activity," Davis said.

"It's the romanticization of it and it becomes something that people are actually drawn toward."

Anti-gang forum in North Delta

Police, two former gang members and a counsellor who works with at-risk youth will be speaking at an anti-gang forum in North Delta on Thursday evening.

The event gets underway at Seaquam Secondary School at 6pm.

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