Drug trade behind slayings: Expert

<p>The city’s 18th murder victim of 2007 was known to police, Const. Tim Fanning said yesterday.</p>

 

Latest victim was known to police


 

 

RAFE ARNOTT/METRO VANCOUVER

 

Police say Raymond Huang, who was slain in front of this multimillion-dollar Shaughnessy mansion, died in a targeted hit.



The city’s 18th murder victim of 2007 was known to police, Const. Tim Fanning said yesterday.



Raymond Huang, 45, was gunned down in front of his $5.5-million home in Shaughnessy this weekend. Police are calling it a targeted killing.



"Someone is not shot this way for no reason," Fanning said.



Huang is the latest in a string of high-profile homicides that hint at a gang war.



Robert Gordon, professor and director of the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, said this is nothing new, recalling gang violence in the late ’80s and ’90s.



"It’s a regional issue. It’s not just Vancouver, and it’s all driven by the illegal drug trade."



Police say the prevalence of the murders is disturbing. Citing recent shootings at two restaurants in both East and West Vancouver, and the gangland-style slayings of six men in Surrey, Fanning said it is a far cry from what police are used to.



"Traditional homicides in the past 25 to 30 years were in rooming houses in the downtown Eastside and involved stabbings and beating deaths," he said.



Gordon said the violence is not over until the disputes driving the killings are settled.



"The fact (the killings) are still continuing shows the police are not very good at dealing with it."



 
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