Manoj Kumar of Vancouver has been identified as a the latest victim in the ongoing gangland killings spree in the lower mainland. “Based on the circumstances surrounding the shooting, this appears to have been a targeted homicide,” says Constable Jason Doucette of the VPD. “Although it’s very early in the investigation and we are still working to identify a motive, I can confirm that Mr. Kumar was not known to police and does not have any obvious connections to a criminal lifestyle.”
By DESIBUZZCanada Staff With News Files
VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Police Department has identified the city’s fourth homicide victim as a South Asian man from Vancouver.
Manoj Kumar, 30, was gunned down in the city’s upscale Kitsilano neighbourhood Tuesday night.
Just after 8:30 p.m. on April 16, the VPD received several 9-1-1 calls reporting shots being fired in the area of West 4th Avenue and Burrard Street. The suspect fled before officers arrived.
Kumar, 30, died at the scene.
“Based on the circumstances surrounding the shooting, this appears to have been a targeted homicide,” says Constable Jason Doucette of the VPD. “Although it’s very early in the investigation and we are still working to identify a motive, I can confirm that Mr. Kumar was not known to police and does not have any obvious connections to a criminal lifestyle.”
There were initial reports of a vehicle driving out of the area immediately after the shooting. Officers were called to a vehicle fire just before midnight on West 22nd Avenue at Yew Street. Although the vehicle has not been directly linked to the shooting, officers have seized it pending further investigation.
Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots in the area of Burrard Street and West 4th Avenue around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Multiple bullet holes could be seen in the shattered windshield of a BMW X series SUV parked in an alley off Burrard between West 4th and West 5th avenues. A yellow tarp was put up to cover the drivers side of the BMW as investigators gathered evidence at the scene overnight, reported CTV News.
It appears the SUV had been parked in the alley under a billboard, beside a restaurant when it was sprayed with bullets.
Sheldon Turner, who lives a few blocks away, heard the shots ring out.
“I heard seven shots from my apartment,” he told CTV. “I came down here. I actually saw a dead body.”
Turner says the man’s body was inside the SUV, slumped over the steering wheel.
The shooting happened in a busy area full of restaurants, and a short distance from a movie theatre.
A portion of Burrard Street near West 4th Avenue was closed overnight, but was reopened to traffic early Wednesday morning.
The BC Coroners Service and Vancouver police arrived early Wednesday morning to remove the body.
Not far away from the shooting, a badly burned SUV was spotted on a tow truck with a police escort on West 2nd Avenue near Cambie Street around 3 a.m. Vancouver police have not confirmed if the burned SUV is related to the shooting.
Vancouver Police said no arrests have been made, and their officers are still in the early stages of the investigation.
The alley where the shooting happened remained taped off and under police guard early Wednesday morning.
Police are asking any witnesses to come forward.
This is the city’s fourth homicide of 2019.
Any witnesses, or anyone who was driving in the area at the time with dash-cam footage, is asked to contact investigators at 604-717-2500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.