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Arrest made and charges laid in the shooting of Ripudaman Singh Malik

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 27 Jul, 2022 10:35 AM
  • Arrest made and charges laid in the shooting of Ripudaman Singh Malik

UPDATE:

SURREY, B.C. - Two men have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ripudaman Singh Malik.

Malik, the man acquitted in 2005 for bombings aimed at Air India jets that killed 331 people, was shot in his vehicle outside his business in Surrey, on July 14.

Tanner Fox, 21, and Jose Lopez, 23, have been charged.

Police gave few details about their investigation during a news conference Wednesday.

In answer to questions about possible motive or whether there was any relationship between the alleged killers and the victim, officers said the investigation was ongoing.

They had a similar response when asked if they believed anyone else was involved or if other suspects were at large.

"We're going to follow the evidence and wherever that evidence leads us is where we'll go next," IHIT Supt. Mandeep Mooker said.

Fox was arrested in Abbotsford, while Lopez was arrested in New Westminster on Tuesday, he said. A news release later said they were arrested at their homes.

Police have previously said a vehicle with people inside had waited for hours that morning before Malik, 75, showed up and he was shot at about 9:30 a.m.

The same vehicle, a white Honda CRV, was found burned not far from the scene of the shooting.

Police released a photo and video of the car driving through a strip-mall parking lot, but didn't specify the number of people in the vehicle, saying they did not want to "taint" potential witnesses.

An employee who works at a nearby car wash said he heard shots on the morning Malik was killed and ran outside to find him unconscious in his red Tesla.

Malik and his co-accused, Ajaib Singh Bagri, were found not guilty of murder and conspiracy in the Air India bombings on June 23, 1985.

One bomb was on an Air India jet that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 passengers and crew.

About an hour later, a bomb destined for another Air India plane exploded prematurely at Tokyo's Narita Airport, where two baggage handlers died.

Court documents show both Fox and Lopez had previous criminal records.

Lopez was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm for a 2018 incident in Abbotsford.

He was charged with seven firearms offences plus wilfully resisting an officer and uttering threats for an incident in July 2021 in Kelowna.

Fox's convictions include assault causing bodily harm, and robbery for separate incidents in 2019 in Abbotsford.

He's also accused of wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer in December 2021.

Fox is scheduled to appear in court in September on an assault charge for an alleged April 8 offence in New Westminster.

The BC Prosecution Service says Fox and Lopez appeared in Surrey provincial court Wednesday and the matter was adjourned until Aug. 10, when a bail hearing is scheduled.

EARLIER STORY:

Surrey RCMP is investigating a shooting that has left one man dead. The man has been identified as Ripudaman Singh Malik, who was acquitted in the 1985 Air India bombing. 

On Thursday morning at 9:26 a.m., Surrey RCMP responded to a report of shots fired in the 8200-block of 128 Street.

Police attended and located him suffering from gunshot wounds.

He was provided first aid by attending officers until Emergency Health Services took over his care.

Injured Malik succumbed to his injuries on scene.

This appears to be a targeted shooting.

A suspect vehicle was located in the 12200 block of 82 Avenue fully engulfed in fire.

The investigation is in the early stages and police are still looking for the suspects and a second vehicle that may have been used as getaway vehicle.

Malik and his co-accused, Ajaib Singh Bagri, were found not guilty in March 2005 of murder and conspiracy in a pair of Air India bombings that killed 331 people on June 23, 1985.

B.C. Supreme Court heard during the trial that a suitcase bomb was loaded onto a plane at Vancouver's airport and then transferred in Toronto to Air India Flight 182.

The aircraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland, killing 329 passengers and crew.

About an hour later, a bomb destined for another Air India plane exploded prematurely at Tokyo's Narita Airport, where two baggage handlers died.

Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man convicted in the bombings, testified for the Crown at Malik and Bagri's trial and was later convicted of perjury.

Malik's son Jaspreet Singh Malik shared a Facebook post on the demise of his father highlighting that he was wrongfully charged in the Air India case. 

“We are aware of Mr. Malik’s background, though at this time we are still working to determine the motive. We can confirm that the shooting appears to be targeted and there is not believed to be any further risk to the public,” says Sergeant Timothy Pierotti of IHIT. “Having occurred in a residential area, we are confident that witnesses exist that could help us further this investigation. We urge them to come forward immediately and without delay.”

Malik was 75 and is the head of Khalsa schools across Canada.

IHIT is asking that any witnesses or anyone traveling in the area of 122 Street and 82 Avenue between 9:15 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. with dash cameras or who has any information regarding the homicide of Mr. Malik is asked to contact the IHIT Information Line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Photo courtesy of Instagram (JournalistGagandeepSingh)

 

 

 

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