Gang shooting suspect vehicle found on fire in North Vancouver
Homicide investigators have recovered the vehicle used in a gang hit at the North Vancouver Real Canadian Superstore parking lot Friday (March 11) and they are now asking the public to help identify two suspects.
The shooting left 34-year-old Milad Rahimi dead. He was a well-known figure in the organized crime world with both local and international connections, according to police, who believe it was a targeted shooting.
First responders were called to the 300 block of Tempe Crescent around 7 p.m. Saturday, where the suspect Mazda 3 with stolen licence plates was found on fire.
Immediately after the shooting, which took place around 2:45 p.m. on Friday, the RCMP reduced traffic flow to just one lane leaving the North Shore on Highway 1 in hopes of nabbing the suspect, but investigators now say the vehicle may have been dumped on Tempe around that time.
Witnesses have also now come forward with descriptions of two suspects. The driver of the Mazda was wearing a black hoodie, grey pants that had either patchwork or a torn pattern, black shoes, and a medical mask. They were carrying a grey backpack with a single strap. The passenger wore a three-quarter-length black jacket with a hood and a very distinct white symbol on the left shoulder, as well as grey pants and black shoes.
“Our investigators have been working tirelessly to further this investigation, and we do ask the North Shore community and the public to come forward and assist us,” said Det.-Cpl. Sukhi Dhesi, “If anyone recognizes or saw these people in the 300 block of Tempe Crescent in North Vancouver or the surrounding area, you’re asked to contact IHIT immediately.”
Specifically, they are seeking any witnesses, dash-cam or surveillance footage from the area, between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. on the day of the shooting, as well as between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on the night the car was set alight.
Witnesses to the shooting aftermath described a chaotic scene. Jane Larsen, who works nearby, said she and her colleagues heard multiple shots fired.
“There was a bunch of people standing around a man who had been shot, I believe in the belly and maybe in the hand,” she said. “He was still alive.”
A witness named Derek, who asked that his last name not be used, said he arrived at the scene before paramedics were there to treat the victim. He said a bystander was offering assistance.
Derek said it appeared the victim was attempting to back up the BMW when he was shot. He then lost control and crashed into an SUV, parked next to his own vehicle.
“[Police] actually said ‘Check it for bullet holes,’ because there were a bunch of shells all over the ground around it,” he said. “It looked like he was bleeding out of his chest… He didn’t look like he was responsive too much.”
Speaking to reporters on the day after the shooting, North Vancouver RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries addressed the brazen nature of the crime.
“Without a doubt, this is very alarming for the community. This is a peaceful community and this is a grocery store where families bring their kids every day,” he said. “It was extremely dangerous and this kind of violence has to stop.”
Desi acknowledged the impact the gang violence would have on the otherwise quiet North Shore, and stressed that victims services are available to anyone who may be affected, through either North Vancouver RCMP or IHIT.
“We know that this is a very traumatic event,” she said. “Everybody deals with these circumstances differently.”
Anyone with information about the murder is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or make a report on the Crime Stoppers website.