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Monday, 15 August 2011

Three different gangs in vehicle shooting that killed Jonathan Bacon

23:43 |

Members of at least three different gangs were in the vehicle targeted in a brazen public shooting outside a Kelowna hotel Sunday afternoon, The Vancouver Sun has learned. Red Scorpion gangster Jon Bacon was killed in the targeted attack and Hells Angel Larry Amero was wounded.

But The Sun has learned that members of the Independent Soldiers gang were with Bacon and Amero when masked gunmen opened fire on their Porsche Cayenne as they attempted to leave the parking lot of the Delta Grand Hotel at about 2:45 p.m. Sunday.

One of the IS members was shot and left the crime scene on his own.

The fact that three different gangs were present makes it difficult for investigators to determine if one or all of those shot were the intended target of the hit, Supt. Pat Fogarty said Monday.

Fogarty, of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said anti-gang police specialists are gathering as much intelligence as they can about the shooting and any disputes that led up to it.

And he said police around the province are already working to prevent retaliatory shootings.

Fogarty said it would be wrong for investigators to assume that Bacon, the high-profile Abbotsford native linked to gang violence for years, was the intended target of the shooters.

"In the case of this one, we can't say for sure who was the target," Fogarty said.

"It is not surprising that any of the people in in the car - particularly the men - would be targeted. This is not a shocker for us."

But he said the public should not be concerned about tit-for-tat retribution because police are constantly working to get ahead of plots to target rivals.

"If the public only realized how many of these we get in front of," Fogarty said. "This one slipped through the net."

He said any gangsters that are assertive in the criminal underworld "are going to piss people off."

Despite the drain on resources from working to foil plots, police will do whatever they can to stem further violence, Fogarty said.

Police will pick up people on outstanding warrants or lesser charges to get them off the streets when things are volatile, he said.

And they will also do "duty to warns" - where they knock on the door of gangsters believed to be at risk and tell them someone is plotting to do them harm.

But Fogarty said there is nothing like the "fluidity of gangs and gangsters in this province."

People who are allies one day are enemies the next, he said, which is why people with three different gang tags would be riding around Kelowna together.

"This is clearly an alliance of people that we would not have seen together a couple of years ago," he said.

Fogarty said that as soon as he heard about the shooting, he put together a provincial response plan as the Kelowna investigators began their search for suspects.

"We are more concerned about getting the intelligence flowing," Fogarty said. "If there is any, what kind of fallout will there be?"

He said the shooting of a full-patch Hells Angels shows that other criminals don't fear the biker gang the way they once did.

"Not that many people are afraid of them any more," he said.

He said there are "testosterone-fuelled young bucks" out there willing to commit violent acts like Sunday's shooting.

"That is the way it is now," he said. "This is a particularly serious one - you are slapping the Hells Angels in the face."

Kelowna RCMP Const. Steve Holmes will provide an update on the shooting investigation later Monday. Police have still not officially identified the slain man as Bacon, a former Abbotsford man who was out on bail on gun and drug charges when he was shot to death.

Nor have police confirmed that a vehicle that was found torched later Sunday near Kelowna may have a link to the shooting suspects.

Vancouver Hospital implemented heightened security for several hours Monday morning after a patient with "gang affiliations" was being treated. But that security alert was later lifted.


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