(File photo)

Homicide investigation prompts search warrant in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood

Police say perceived gunfire in 12500-block of 22 Avenue was officers deploying ‘less lethal’ options

Officers with the Emergency Response Team, the gang enforcement unit and the drug unit executed a search warrant in Ocean Park Thursday (June 18) night, prompting multiple shots-fired calls to Surrey RCMP.

Cpl. Elenore Sturko confirmed the teams were in the 12500-block of 22 Avenue in connection with an ongoing investigation by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) and Surrey Major Crimes, but said the noise heard was not gunfire.

“What it was is our gang enforcement unit, drug unit, with the emergency response unit, were in the area doing a search warrant and they used less lethal options… probably flash bangs, when they were doing a search,” Sturko said.

The tool is typically used to startle people, she added.

“We got a bunch of shots-fired calls. In this case, it was the police, a planned activity by the police, in relation to an investigation.”

Six reports regarding the bangs were fielded by police between 9 and 10 p.m., she said.

Sturko did not know if any arrests were made during the search, and deferred questions regarding the homicide investigation to IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Frank Jang.

Jang was not immediately available to comment Friday afternoon, and it is unclear if the search warrant is connected to an IHIT investigation that got underway in a different South Surrey neighbourhood earlier this week.

READ MORE: Homicide team takes over South Surrey death investigation

That investigation was sparked after a woman who was brought to Peace Arch Hospital with serious injuries Wednesday (June 17) morning died in hospital.

Police were in the 2700-block of 168 Street for more than 24 hours in connection with that investigation, however, no further information has been shared.

An IHIT tweet Friday morning said only that the investigation continues and there are “no updates at this time.”

Anyone with information regarding the woman’s death is asked to contact the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448 or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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A Surrey RCMP officer blocks traffic along 168 Street at 28 Avenue Thursday morning, while police continue their investigation into a woman’s death. The South Surrey thoroughfare remains closed to traffic, with northbound motorists diverted at 26 Avenue. (Tracy Holmes photo)

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