Published Friday, November 9, 2018 8:41 PM PST
Last Updated Friday, November 9, 2018 6:07 PM PST
RCMP criticizes Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum for using a fatal shooter claiming the life of a 22-year-old to make a political point.
The police were called to the area 70A Avenue and 142 Street in the Surrey Newton block after shots ringing around 1:30, and arrived to find the young man dead on the ground outside a home.
The victim has not been identified in public, but the police said the assassination is believed to be linked to the ongoing congestion in Lower Mainland.
A witness, who would not be identified for safety reasons, told CTV News, she heard a single shot followed by a short break, then a crack of four or five shots.
"My heart fell when I heard the shots," she said. "Our neighborhood is so safe and quiet all the time."
The Integrated Assassination Survey Team was called to the scene overnight and set up a tent in the house's driveway.
The authorities have not confirmed which link the victim had to the property, if any.
Investigators spent hours searching for the area of evidence and processing for witnesses, but have not said if they have any information about a potential suspect.
Doug McCallum, the city's new mayor, issued a statement on Friday calling the lethal shot "another example of the ongoing trauma and fears that bend on communities, residents and families in Surrey."
"The latest incident of fatal weapon violence further emphasizes the need for Surrey City to have its own police force," added McCallum.
A city writer told CTV News that the mayor would not draw up his comments. McCallum and the New City Council voted unanimously to scrape the city's RCMP detachment, currently the largest in Canada.
While McCallum would not comment further, BC RCMP's deputy commissioner issued his own statement on what the mayor said.
"Statements like this risk undermine public confidence and trust in the police. With such a murder, people are already reluctant to move forward," said Brenda Butterworth-Carr on Friday.
"What erosion of public confidence and challenges challenges our ability to solve complex cases with the help of people who are often unwilling to participate in the first place. This concern is not unique to any police force."
Butterworth-Carr said until the RCMP is no longer the contracted service in Surrey, employees must get police to the city safely and efficiently.
"I will not allow public confidence in police to be undermined or eroded," she wrote.
She also expressed her sympathy for the victim's family and residents in the neighborhood where the shot occurred, saying that Mounties and IHIT focused on finding out who killed the young man.
The Ministry of Security also refused McCallum's statement and said in an email Friday afternoon that the province is working with the city as it develops a plan to replace the RCMP.
"Let's be clear. Nobody walks on any roads," wrote Minister Mike Farnworth.
"We are prepared to work with the mayor – he must be willing to work as well. A new police force is not created during the weekend, but the province is determined to work with the city as they move on."
Calling the violence "absolutely unacceptable," he said, the province has made new investments in anti-gang programs based in Surrey and in improved police.
"People deserve to feel safe in their communities and their neighborhoods," said Farnworth.
Mounties continues to work with IHIT at the survey. Murder investigators say there are no signs of an increased risk to the public as a result of the shot.
They seek witnesses and those who may know more about what led to the shot. Anyone who has information about photography can contact the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
With files from CTV Vancouver Ben Miljure and Allison Hurst