RCMP say two people were killed in a brazen midday shooting that shut down the Whistler Blackcomb resort in British Columbia on Sunday.
The Mounties say in a statement that two people have been arrested in connection with the attack in the resort's village near Sundial Hotel at about 12:19 p.m.
The victims are identified as Satindera Gill and Meninder Dhaliwal. Both were known to police. Meninder Dhaliwal
Meninder Dhaliwal, 29, was a member of Brothers Keepers gang and died at the scene. Dhaliwal, along with his brother Barinder Dhaliwal, was on a list of six men, four of them of Indian descent, released last year by the Vancouver Police Department which called them "gangsters" who "pose a significant risk to the safety of the public".
It said that last year Dhaliwal's brother Harb was killed outside a Vancouver restaurant when he was with him and Barinder. Meninder chased the gunman, Francoise Gauthier, and stabbed him in the eye, but did not face charges, it added. Gauthier admitted last month in a Canadian court to carrying out the murder and was sentenced to life in prison, the Sun reported.
It said that both Meninder and Barinder had been shot several times in the past.
His friend Satindera Gill succumbed to injuries at a local medical clinic. Satindera Gill, was not associated with gang activity. Gill was employed as a concrete truck operator and was in Whistler for his birthday celebration.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has taken control of the investigation, working with the Sea-to-Sky RCMP, the RCMP Integrated Forensic Identification Services (IFIS), the B.C. Coroners Service and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia.
IHIT deployed to Whistler. Two victims. More info when it becomes available. pic.twitter.com/gowuLnn8zN— IHIT (@HomicideTeam) July 25, 2022
In a release issued late Sunday night, IHIT says a burning vehicle discovered on Ptarmigan Place in Whistler is believed to be associated with the shooting.
IHIT said the shooting is believed to have been targeted, and in relation to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict.
Sara Roston, a spokesperson for Whistler Blackcomb, says in an email that RCMP cleared the Whistler area of any imminent danger, but the resort was closed for the day out of respect for guests and those affected by the shooting.
Roston says staff resumed operations temporarily to allow guests to come down the mountain on chair lifts and gondolas and leave safely.
"We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence, and we stand in support of our community," she says in the email.
RCMP say that although the attack happened "out in the open" in the village area, officers believe there is no ongoing risk to the public.
"I’m confident with the work done by our investigators that there remains no risk to community safety," Insp. Robert Dyskstra, officer in charge of the Sea to Sky RCMP, says in a statement.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team could not be reached for comment.
Photo courtesy of Gurpreet S Sahota.