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Judge says no more ‘leeway’ for cops after extended detention of items seized in Surrey shoot-out

One victim paralyzed in Guildford shooting and crash, another left with inoperable brain injury
Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

A B.C. Supreme Court judge in New Westminster gave police a 90-day extension to detain property seized after a shooting in Guildford.

“I conclude it remains in the interest of justice to make an order for continued detention of those items under the six files for a period of 90 days,” Justice Trevor Armstrong said in a judgment posted April 26.

“I have afforded the police some leeway based on the seriousness of the potential charges,” the judge noted. “But I emphasize,” he added, “that the police have now used up any leeway they might expect to receive.”

The property police seized in Surrey in April 2019 is related to an investigation involving aggravated assault, discharging a firearm with intent, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.

The court heard police intended to send some exhibits to a forensic laboratory in Ottawa but “due to an error,” they hadn’t been sent.

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The shooting happened on April 1, 2019, after a blue Honda Civic was seen chasing a grey Dodge in Guildford.

“A male was observed exiting the Honda’s passenger seat and fired gunshots towards the Dodge. Minutes later, gunshots were heard in the area of 157 Avenue and 100 Avenue in Surrey, and then the Dodge and the Honda collided,” the judge noted.

Several people were arrested, one of them suffering from a gunshot wound that left the victim paralyzed from the waist down.

“At the time of the shooting, several people involved were believed to be members of criminal gangs riding in two separate cars,” Armstrong noted. “Guns were discharged and several of the occupants of the cars injured. The vehicles later collided, causing additional injuries.”

Two other people sustained serious injuries in the crash, and another was found in the back seat of the Honda, suffering from an inoperable brain injury that left him with severe psychological and cognitive impairments after he emerged from a lengthy coma.

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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