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Killer gets life sentence for shooting Abbotsford man in Coal Harbour

Francois Gauthier, 52, gunned down Harb Dhaliwal on April 17, 2021
Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (File photo)

A man who gunned down Harb Dhaliwal of Abbotsford in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour in April 2021 has received a life sentence with no chance of parole for 20 years.

Francois Joseph Gauthier, 52, was initially charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty and was sentenced Wednesday (June 29) in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver to second-degree murder.

Dhaliwal, 31, was pronounced dead at the scene on April 17, 2021 after being shot outside Cardero’s restaurant near Coal Harbour Quay and Cardero Street.

Police at the time said they believed the shooting was targeted.

Harb was the brother of Barinder (Brian) Dhaliwal, who has previously been identified as being involved in the Lower Mainland gang conflict.

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Brian, 38, was the suspected target of a drive-by shooting in 2011 at a home on Bradner Road in Abbotsford.

Brian was also a known associate of the Bacon brothers. In 2011, Jarrod Bacon alleged in wiretap evidence presented at his drug-conspiracy trial that Brian, whom he had known all his life, could front the $3 million in cash required to purchase a supply of cocaine.

A second drive-by shooting in the area of Brian’s home took place in September 2012, resulting in a 24-year-old man suffering a gunshot wound to his arm.

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The two shooting incidents prompted police to later install video surveillance cameras near the Dhaliwal home.

Brian was again targeted in July 2013, when he was shot at while driving along Downes Road in Abbotsford and showed up at hospital with a gunshot wound.

Harb was the victim of previous shootings in 2017 in Abbotsford and in December 2018 at Lansdowne Mall in Richmond.

A third Dhaliwal brother, Meninder, also survived a shooting – in March 2019 in Richmond.

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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