04/25/2013 01:26 EDT | Updated 06/24/2013 05:12 EDT

1 dead in South Surrey targeted shooting

A 28-year-old man was gunned down outside a South Surrey shopping outlet Wednesday night in what police are calling a targeted shooting.

A witness says the man was holding a coffee and appeared to be getting into his car in the outlet mall's parking lot at 26th Avenue and 158th Street just before 7 p.m. PT when he was shot as many as four times.

A green SUV was seen speeding away from the scene, and was found ditched nearby.

Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy says the victim, who lives nearby, has gang connections and the shooting likely has ties to other recent murders and an ongoing turf war.

"On first blush, this is a targeted shooting, in a public place," Fordy said.

"My suspicion is, at this point, that it is part of an ongoing gang rivalry between factions that are competing for drug money or drug turf," he said.

Fordy said continued attacks in public places are putting members of the public at risk.

"This is a residential area that had hundreds of people walking in the neighbourhood at the time," he said. "It could have been my brother, sister, son, daughter walking by, so it's very concerning."

Police are now looking for a grey Volkswagen Passat, and are asking anyone with more information to come forward.