Prince George has recorded three homicides so far this year and the RCMP is pointing to a rising gang conflict as part of the problem.
Cpl. Jennifer Cooper explains what the detachment is doing to mitigate the violence.
“We have increased our proactive patrols as well as increased our efforts to mitigate what is going on. We have reached out to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit’s Gang Enforcement Team for support as well and they have already been up here to deal with the recent violence we have experienced here.”
Two of the three homicides have occurred this month.
On March 12th, 44-year-old Robert Gordon Elliott was found inside of a residence on the 600 block of Irwin Street.
Two weeks later (March 27th), a man identified as Sahib Johal also succumbed to injuries sustained from gunshot wounds during an incident on the 1800 block of Spruce Street.
Johal is from the Lower Mainland and had gang affiliations. Johal and his associates were renting an Airbnb in the Lower College Heights area at the time of his death.
On Tuesday (March 29th), police attended an early morning shots fired call on the 700 block of Irwin Street (between 5 and 5:30 am).
“Investigators did notice recent gunshots toward the neighbourhood. We are still looking for any witnesses, video surveillance, or dashcam footage,” added Cooper.
According to police, the occupants of the location are known to police for their involvement in the drug trade.
The city’s first homicide was reported on January 25th when the RCMP attended the 1300 block of Porter Avenue to assist emergency crews with a male victim located in medical distress.
The victim was transported to the hospital but did not survive his injuries. He was later identified as 38-year-old local resident Derek Mitchell, who was well-known to police.
Last year, PG recorded six homicides, while in 2020 just one was tallied.
In 2019, the city only had two murders.
The public is encouraged to report suspicious incidents, especially in the VLA and bowl areas to police.
Cooper says anyone from out of town paying for high-priced items in cash or increased foot or vehicle traffic at a home could be an indication of drug activity.