VANCOUVER — One man has pleaded guilty and police have made several other arrests in the slayings of six people found dead in a Vancouver-area apartment building, a shocking crime that marked one of the first volleys in an ongoing gang war.
The six were found dead Oct. 19, 2007, in a high-rise apartment building in Surrey, southeast of Vancouver. Police said at the time that it was a targeted hit involving the gangland underworld.
But two of the men were innocent bystanders, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Dennis Karbovanec, who has a long list of convictions and pending charges against him, quietly pleaded guilty Friday to three counts of second-degree murder and RCMP say more arrests are coming.
Karbovanec, 27, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, along with his associates James Kyle Bacon, Matthew James Johnston and Cory Ray Haevischer. All of the men have been identified by police in the past as gang members.
“I can tell you that as we speak right now, there are additional arrests that are taking place and there will be additional arrests throughout the weekend in connection to this file,” Cpl. Dale Carr told reporters in a brief news conference.
He said police would have more information on Saturday.
Carr said the events that led to Karbovanec’s arrest unfolded very quickly, and continue to unfold.
“I simply cannot entertain any questions right now,” he told reporters, citing the nature of those events.
Karbovanec admitted to killing Chris Mohan, 22, one of the innocent bystanders in the slaughter, as well as Ryan Bartolomeo, 29, and Michael Lal, 26.
Corey Lal, Michael’s 21-year-old brother, was also killed, along with Edward Narong, 22, and gas fitter Ed Schellenberg, 55, who was doing work on fireplaces in the building.
Raphael Baldini, who rented the suburban Surrey, B.C., apartment where the men were gunned down, was himself killed in what appeared to be a targeted hit in February.
Police have issued rare public warnings about Karbovanec and Bacon, saying that they were known gang members being targetted by rivals and that associating with them could put people in harm’s way.
Bacon survived an attempted hit in January.