Photo of Thomas Gabriel Saul released by Surrey RCMP on Wednesday (Sept. 4).

Man shot in Fraser Heights a risk to public safety, Surrey RCMP say

Police warn public to stay away from Thomas Gabriel Saul; shooting believed to be connected to drug trafficking

Police say the target of a shooting in Fraser Heights Tuesday afternoon poses a risk to public safety.

Surrey RCMP say 35-year-old Thomas Gabriel Saul has been the target of “recent incidents” including the Sept. 3 shooting that they believe was connected to drug trafficking in that neighbourhood.

Police say Saul was one of two people injured in the incident, which happened in the 15900-block of 111th Avenue around 4:50 p.m. that left a black Chrysler 300 riddled with bullets on a lawn of a home.

“He has been spoken to by investigators and, although his life is in danger, he has provided very limited information to police,” a Surrey RCMP release notes.

Saul is known to police and has a “history of involvement with drug trafficking in the Lower Mainland and outside of British Columbia,” according to Surrey RCMP.

The release adds that police “have not found any indication of a continued risk in the area of the shooting” but the public is advised not to interact with Saul.

READ MORE: Two men hurt in ‘targeted’ shooting in Surrey’s Fraser Heights area

In addition to Surrey’s latest gunfire, police say Saul was also the intended victim of a shooting in Burnaby on Aug. 21.

Burnaby RCMP said at approximately 4:50 a.m. that day, in the 7300-block of 14th Avenue, “a number of shots were fired,” including some that struck a vehicle. No one was hurt.

“Gun violence in our community is perpetuated through the continued demand for illicit drugs,” said Corporal Elenore Sturko in a release. “We will continue our enforcement efforts in Surrey and across the Lower Mainland with our policing partners, however we are appealing to the community to reduce the demand for illicit drugs, and to provide information which can assist us in our investigations.”

The release notes the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team and Surrey Drug Unit, with support from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, are involved in “significant overt and covert enforcement operations to target individuals related to the drug trade.”

Surrey RCMP also highlighted in the release its preventative work in schools to stop kids from entering the drug trade through presentations, the Code Blue and Mini-Blue school fitness programs, and the Wrap program which is aimed at kids who are at significant risk of gang involvement.

READ ALSO: Police investigating after bullet-marred vehicles located in South Surrey

SEE ALSO: Police in Surrey ask for help identifying car and people of interest in shooting

The Surrey RCMP Parent Helpline (604-599-7800) is also available for parents who believe their child might be involved in illegal activities.

Meantime, in Fraser Heights, Surrey RCMP say the public may notice an increased police presence as officers continue to canvass the area and gather evidence. They say officers from the Mobile Street Enforcement Unit are conducting patrols in the area and an increased number School Resource Officers have been deployed to support students and families.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or visit solvecrime.ca.

Surrey RCMP say there have been 30 reports of shots fired the city so far this year, which they say is on par with 2018. There were 38 shootings in Surrey in 2018, and 59 in 2017. In 2016 there were 61 and in 2015 there were 88.

Shots fired – 2019
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amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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