Accused killer’s refusal to sign probation order was ‘huge red flag,’ group says

Posted on: July 29th, 2019 by
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WATCH ABOVE: A 57-year-old man appeared in court today, charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of three women found dead in Wilno, west of Ottawa. Jacques Bourbeau reports.

Alarm bells should have gone off when the man now accused of killing three ex-girlfriends refused to sign a probation order last year prohibiting him from contacting one of them or coming within 200 metres of her, a women’s rights group said Friday.

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Amanda Dale, executive director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, said Basil Borutski’s decision should have been cause for concern.

“It’s a pretty pointed refusal and we know that if people have understood and digested the risk factors in domestic violence, it would have been a huge red flag,” she said.

“He was giving somebody a message and the message wasn’t properly interpreted.”

READ MORE: Basil Borutski: What we know about the man accused of triple murder in Wilno, Ont.

A refusal to sign the order doesn’t mean it lacks the weight of the law, and such probation orders take effect immediately, regardless of whether offenders sign them.

Dan Brown, a Toronto criminal defence lawyer, said the revelation about Borutski, charged Wednesday with three counts of first-degree murder, doesn’t raise any particular red flags for him.

He said a signature is little more than an acknowledgment that the offender read the order.

“The order becomes valid when it’s imposed on him. It’s not a question for him to agree or disagree with it,” Brown said.

Borutski is accused in the deaths of 36-year-old realtor Anastasia Kuzyk, Nathalie Warmerdam, 48, and Carol Culleton, 66. He appeared in court earlier this week to face the allegations and was ordered held in custody until his next court appearance Oct. 5.

READ MORE: Ontario police defend information flow in Ottawa Valley triple killing

The bodies of the three women were found within hours of one another on Tuesday in a usually sleepy area of the Ottawa Valley about 180 kilometres west of Ottawa.

Borutski, 57, went to jail in 2014 after being convicted of assaulting Kuzyk in December 2013. He was released last December, and placed on two years’ probation.

The terms of that probation required him to stay away from her and not to contact her, according to media reports. But Borutski didn’t sign it.

A candlelight vigil was held Friday evening in the town of Wilno, close to where Kuzyk’s body was discovered.

A sombre crowd filled a park across from the tavern where Kuzyk worked, with a few wiping their eyes as friends paid tribute to the women. Flowers were then laid in a makeshift memorial.


Fruit Stand Bandits strike again

Posted on: July 29th, 2019 by
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RCMP are investigating after a rash of recent break-ins to fruit stands.

At least four produce stands in the Keremeos area have been burglarized in the past month.

The latest happened at about 2:45 Thursday morning at Harker’s Fruit Stand.

Susan Frasch knows how frustrating and costly it is.

She and her husband operate Bear’s Fruit Stand.

Last month thieves pryed open the locks to get inside.

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“This person had cut power to the main breaker and was probably still in the building when my husband first came in, ” says Frasch.

Frasch had surveillance cameras but no battery backup so the camera’s didn’t record who was in her store. She has since purchased a battery backup.

It’s the same story for another fruit stand operator in the area. Sunny Lasser was also robbed.

“In the middle of the night someone had a crowbar and opened the back doors,” says Lasser.

Lasser didn’t have a security system at the time but he does now. He says thieves made off with some candy and produce and several hundred dollars in cash.

RCMP are investigating and want to hear from anyone who may have been on Highway 3, Near Harker’s, very early on Thursday morning.

So far Police can’t say whether the break-ins are related but Lasser, and Susan Frasch are convinced they are.

They say all the break-ins seem to be at 2 or 3 in the morning when RCMP are not on routine patrol and all of them involve prying open the locks to get inside.

“I think it’s an organized group that are scouting places that are vulnerable and maybe aren’t being watched,” Says Frasch

RCMP want to speak with anyone who may have information about the break-ins. If you know something, you’re asked to call crimestoppers.

Feeding Francis: Celebrity chef serves simple, healthy fare

Posted on: July 29th, 2019 by
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NEW YORK – Sliced heirloom tomatoes, steamed lobster and house-made burrata greeted Pope Francis on his first night in New York, where a celebrity chef cooking for her second pontiff said her menu was inspired by Francis’ humility and simplicity.

Feeding the leader of the world’s more than 1 billion Roman Catholics is a daunting task, but Lidia Bastianich said she felt the dishes she offered Francis during his 40 hours in Manhattan pulled off the feat of being straightforward, sophisticated, even spiritual.

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“In this food, for me, is everything I feel about Catholicism. … Let’s feed each other some sustenance, some love,” said Bastianich, who went into her own garden to pick carrots, beets, tomatoes and herbs for the pontiff’s meals.

READ MORE: Pope Francis heads to Philadelphia for Catholic family event

The Associated Press got an exclusive tasting of some of the dishes on Francis’ five-meal New York menu, which took its cue from the pontiff’s healthy diet in Rome. His doctor reportedly is trying to get him to lose 15 pounds.

The tomato and lobster salad gave way Thursday night to veal with porcini mushrooms. Dessert was Concord grape sorbet and angel food cake.

In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, lobster with burrata in fresh olive oil with heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs is displayed after being prepared for owner Lidia Bastianich and restaurateur Angelo Vivolo at Felidia restaurant in New York.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, homemade ravioli with sliced pear filling and topped with grated cheese is displayed at Felidia restaurant in New York.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, angel food cake with raspberry sorbet over a merengue and grapes is displayed at Felidia restaurant in New York.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

This Sept. 17, 2015 photo, shows the menu for Pope Francis’s visit in New York, at Felidia restaurant. Felidia restaurateur Angelo Vivolo and owner Lidia Bastianich is preparing meals for Pope Francis during the visit.

Courtesy of Lidia Bastianich via AP

“I think it plays well, given the situation,” joked Bastianich.

Friday’s lunch included risotto with summer truffles and aged grana Padano cheese as well as a surprise late addition to the menu — bagna cauda, a garlic-anchovy dip for raw vegetables Bastianich heard Francis loves.

After lunch, Francis strolled into the kitchen, thanked Bastianich, restaurateur Angelo Vivolo and their kitchen crew, and asked if he could share an espresso with them. The pope ended by giving each a rosary and a blessing.

“Our eyes swelled with tears,” Bastianich said.

For dinner Friday, Bastianich prepared homemade ravioli filled with shredded pears and pecorino cheese — so light and delicate they seemingly melted on the tongue. And on a day when Catholics traditionally eat fish, the main dish was roasted striped bass, freshly caught off Long Island, with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped parsley, plus lemon on the side.

Though the dishes Bastianich served up may sound more swank than simple, this was a visit with little behind-the-scenes pomp. One of Francis’ requests was notably modest: water and bananas at his bedside table. (Bananas will be on the menu in Philadelphia, as well: The proprietors of the popular Franklin Fountain ice cream shop are providing a special caramelized banana flavour to the seminary where Francis will stay on the last stop of his U.S. visit.)

In this Sept . 22, 2015 photo provided by Vladimir Vladimir, chef Lidia Bastianich displays vegetables from her garden, at her home in Douglaston Manor, in the Queens borough of New York.

Vladimir Vladimir via AP

In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, Fortunato Nicotra, executive chef, prepares pear-filled ravioli at Felidia restaurant in New York.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

This was the second such papal calling for Bastianich, a chef and author best known for “Lidia’s Italy” and other PBS shows and her Manhattan flagship restaurant Felidia.

She and Vivolo were selected to cook for Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, a visit that included a dinner party for 52 and a golden cake in the shape of the papal tiara.

Bastianich prepared Francis’ meals at the five-story Upper East Side townhouse of the Vatican’s United Nations representative, where the 78-year-old pope took respite from his hectic schedule and the rock-star roar of admiring crowds.

“There’s an intimacy, a closeness, a warmth — he’s a guest who sleeps upstairs,” she said. “It’s like having family visiting and you’re cooking.”

Bastianich’s command performances for popes have always been about more than mere meals. Her family fled Yugoslavia after World War II and were refugees in Trieste, Italy. They were brought to the U.S. by Catholic Charities.

“For me, it’s gratitude, it’s giving back,” she said. “I was fed by people who cared, so I understand the communication that food can have.”

WATCH: 2015 Edmonton International Film Festival features

Posted on: July 29th, 2019 by
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EDMONTON – From Thursday, Oct. 1 to Saturday, Oct. 10, cinematic gems and the artists and filmmakers who create them will flock to Alberta’s Capital for the Edmonton International Film Festival.

The EIFF, as it’s been titled since 2002, features veteran and up-and-coming directors, writers, producers and actors and their work.  This year’s schedule includes 55 feature-length films and more than 100 short films. Each and every film screened at EIFF are Edmonton premieres.

Todd James will be covering the festival for Global News. He’ll be interviewing filmmakers and organizers to gather indepth information about the films and the artists behind them. You can watch all his interviews here.

For the film festival schedule, click here.

WATCH: Todd James is checking out the Edmonton International Film Festival. He spoke to the Oscar-nominated director behind “Beeba Boys” as well as actor Steve Dhillon.

WATCH: Todd James spoke with well-known Canadian actor Paul Gross about the film ‘Hyena Road.’

WATCH: Canadian actor Paul Gross stars in the powerful film ‘Hyena Road.’ He tells Todd James about being part of the movie.

WATCH: A familiar face is taking the spotlight at the Edmonton International Film Festival. Todd James has the details on one featured film.

WATCH: Todd James talks to Director James Lalonde about ‘How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town’

WATCH: Todd James catches up with ‘Al Purdy Was Here’ director Brian Johnson at the Edmonton International Film Festival

WATCH: Todd James previews ‘A Louder Silence’ and speaks to the writers, directors and actor involved in the film.

WATCH: The film fest brings incredible talent and culture to our city every year. With more on the films ‘Grandma,’ ‘Figurine,’ and ‘Freeheld,’ here’s Todd James.

WATCH: Todd James is back at the Edmonton International Film Festival and tonight, he’s standing by with the writer/director of the movie ‘Figurine.’

WATCH: Stanley Cup champ and former is on the big screen in Edmonton. Todd James catches up with Grant Fuhr and first-time director Kwame Damon Mason.

WATCH: Todd James has more on the film “Soul on Ice: Past Present and Future” about black athletes in hockey, showing at the Edmonton International Film Festival.

WATCH: Todd James speaks with the director of ‘Driving with Selvi’

WATCH: Todd James catches up with festival producer Kerrie Long 

WATCH: Still much to come at the Edmonton International Film Festival 

WATCH: One of the highlights at the EIFF Friday is a father daughter road trip movie that takes you to Churchill, Manitoba. Todd James talks to writer, producer and star of the film Jonas Cherniak.

WATCH: Todd James has a preview of the final day at EIFF

WATCH: It’s closing night at the Edmonton International Film Festival. Todd James has a preview of the final film.



Hobbs back with Pats after strong NHL camp

Posted on: July 29th, 2019 by
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REGINA – Connor Hobbs was back on the ice with the Regina Pats on Friday after a strong showing at Washington Capitals training camp.

“I thought I did quite well. I felt really good out there on the ice. I was confident, and I just couldn’t be happier with how things went down there,” said Hobbs. “Can’t wait to get back there for the next one.”

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The 143rd overall pick from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft looked good at development camp earning himself an invite to the Capital’s main training camp, where he had the opportunity to skate alongside NHL superstars like Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

“At first you’re kind of amazed by these guys right, you’re usually just used to seeing them on a video game and stuff like that,” said the smooth skating defenceman. “When you’re practicing with those guys and you see how they practice there’s very few mistakes, but it’s not like their super human, they’re just like us but at a whole other level.”

It’s a level the 18-year hopes to be at one day.

“Just the way those guys carry themselves is pretty unreal, just very professional. It’s a little bit different than junior in that respect, but a really good group of guys there and it’s just like any other team right,” answered Hobbs when asked about the experience. “That’s just something I want to strive for is to be at that next level.”

With his first pro camp now under his belt Hobbs is turning his attention to the Pats and Saturday’s home opener. The 18-year-old is expected to log a lot of minutes for the Blue and White this season.

“Maybe a little bit nervous. It’s been a while since I had to be an older guy, leader on a team I guess, but no I’m excited. Everybody else in the room is excited,” explained the Saskatoon native. “Home opener at the Brandt Centre; I haven’t experienced one yet and I’m pretty excited.”

UN summit approves 15-year plan to erase extreme poverty, fight climate change

Posted on: June 29th, 2019 by
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With the bang of a gavel, international leaders approved an ambitious 15-year plan Friday to tackle the world’s biggest problems, from eradicating poverty to preserving the planet to reducing inequality. Now comes the tough part: Drumming up support and money to achieve the goals and transform the world.

Pope Francis gave his backing to the new development agenda in an address to the U.N. General Assembly before the summit to adopt the 17-point plan opened, calling it “an important sign of hope” at a very troubled time in the Middle East and Africa.

WATCH: ‘Harm to environment is harm to humanity’: Pope repeats climate change warning

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When General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft struck his gavel to approve the development road map, leaders and diplomats from the 193 U.N. member states stood and applauded loudly.

Then, the summit immediately turned to the real business of the three-day meeting – implementation of the goals, which is expected to cost $3.5 trillion to $5 trillion every year until 2030.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon set the stage, saying the agenda “embodies the aspirations of people everywhere for lives of peace, security and dignity on a healthy planet.”

The goals “are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success,” Ban said.

The document, titled “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” not only outlines 17 broad goals but sets 169 specific targets.

The non-binding goals succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by world leaders 15 years ago. Only one of those has been achieved: halving the number of people living in extreme poverty, due primarily to economic growth in China. At least one other is close – cutting in half the proportion of people without access to clean water – and there are still three months until the goals expire.

The new goals include ensuring “healthy lives” and quality education for all, clean water, sanitation and reliable modern energy, as well as making cities safe, reducing inequality within and among countries, and promoting economic growth and good governance.

Critics say they are too broad, lack accountability and will lead to disenchantment among those most in need of hope.

READ MORE: What EU leaders agreed to at summit on the migrant crisis

Supporters say there is no choice but to go big in a world of expanding population, growing inequality, dwindling resources and the existential threat from global warming. They note that while the millennium goals were developed by then secretary-general Kofi Annan and his staff, the new goals are the result of years of negotiations by all 193 member states, which means they should all have a stake in their achievement.

Sweden announced that a group of nine leaders from different regions will work to ensure implementation of the goals. It includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Liberia, South Africa, Tanzania and Tunisia and the prime ministers of Sweden and East Timor.

Speaker after speaker pointed to the spread of extremist groups as barriers to development, perhaps none more eloquently than Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousefzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan in 2012 for campaigning for girls’ education.

WATCH: Malala Yousafzai speaks to UN, stresses importance of education for girls

Standing in the assembly chamber’s balcony surrounded by 193 young people representing every country, Malala told the leaders: “The future generation is raising their voice.” Each teen held a lantern, which she said symbolized their hope that the new global goals will be achieved.

Millions of children are suffering from “terrorism, displacement and denial of education,” Malala said, noting the heartbreaking photo of 3-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi lying drowned on a Turkish sea shore and the tearful parents of girls abducted from their school in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram.

“Promise peace to all children in Pakistan, in India, in Syria and in every corner of the world,” Malala implored the leaders.

“Promise that every child will have the right to safe, free and quality primary and secondary education,” she said. “Education is hope. Education is peace.”

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said the international community has to deal with global challenges that hinder development – “especially terrorism” which isn’t confined to Arab nations but has spread worldwide.

In pursuing development, he said, the Egyptian people are facing “the most dangerous extremist terrorist ideology.”

Egypt has been fighting an insurgency by Sinai militants allied to the Islamic State group. At the same time, security forces have cracked down on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists since the military – then led by el-Sissi – ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a senior Brotherhood figure, in 2013 after massive protests against Morsi’s rule. Hundreds of Islamists have been killed and thousands arrested.

El-Sissi also expressed concern that “the tools” to achieve the goals are insufficient, and stressed that richer nations have a responsibility to help poorer ones.

Afghan leader Abdullah Abdullah, whose country is one of the world’s poorest, urged “political commitment and revitalized partnership” to achieve the goals.

WATCH: Pope calls for preserving rights of individuals

The head of Amnesty International used his speech to make an impassioned critique of mass surveillance, the arms trade, income inequality and human rights abuses.

“You cannot launch these goals and in parallel deny a safe and legal route to refugees, a life with dignity,” Amnesty’s Salil Shetty added.

Merkel told fellow leaders there is no quick solution to the migrant crisis that has seen hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war, poverty and persecution flood into Europe and safe havens closer to home.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said eliminating poverty is the top priority in his country, which has the world’s largest number of people living in extreme poverty.

Modi confirmed plans for a fivefold boost in renewable energy but added two years to the time frame, saying it will take seven years instead of five.

As for finding the trillions needed to implement the goals, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said Thursday “we’d be doing very well to have anywhere near that amount of money available by 2030.”

©2015The Associated Press

Culture Days kicks off in the Okanagan – Okanagan

Posted on: June 29th, 2019 by
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KELOWNA – Okanagan residents will join thousands of people from communities across the country this weekend for Culture Days. It’s the sixth year the cross-country initiative has taken place.

“Culture Days gives us an opportunity to link our hands on a grander scale this weekend and celebrate our creativity, culture and diversity that does live in this country,” says Rawle James, Culture Days Coordinator.

He says that means getting to take in an array of activities from Japanese tea ceremonies, dancing, crafts, art exhibits and seeing artists like Amanda Shatzko in action. The Vernon-native decided to blend her passion for acrobatics and painting into a very unique art form where she combines both those activities.

“Sometimes people ask me: you do what? You hang in the air upside down and you do painting?” says Shatzko, a contemporary artist.

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In West Kelowna, the Sncewips Heritage Museum is gearing up for a showcase of its own.

“We have an exhibit that’s on that’s called Native Art: Beyond Beads and Feathers and we are hoping to open some doors, break down some barriers and create discussion about how sometimes culture defines us,” says Heritage Officer and Curator, Tracy Satin.

With more than 100 activities planned for the weekend, organizers say there’ll be something for everyone. Culture Days coordinator Rawle James says it’s not just about a weekend of arts and culture.

“This is an event to make art and culture part of their lives, make it a process and come out once a month, once every two weeks that supports the arts,” says James.

He says dozens of volunteers are the driving the force behind the celebration and a big reason why all of the events are free for the public.

Click here for a list of all the events going on throughout the weekend.

Art Exchange turns one person’s leftovers into a work of art

Posted on: June 29th, 2019 by
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REGINA – A local artist is turning a non-descript building on the corner of Dewdney Avenue and Broad Street into a hub where creative minds can swap supplies.

The Art Supply Exchange opened its doors for the first time Friday afternoon, months after founder Erika Fulnovic began collecting donations.

“We had some great donations of fabrics over the summer. We have frames, paper, paint,” she said. “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

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The hope is to extend the life-cycle of a product, while at the same time helping starving artists get the materials they need to express themselves.

“Get items out of disuse, divert these from the landfill, from your recycling bins. Give them to artists or educators who might not have the budgets,” Fulnovic explained.

Other artists are keen to support the initiative.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said professional artist Terri Fidelak. “I think Regina needs to have better access to art supplies for the art community here and the Exchange is great because it’s accessible to everyone.”

The start-up is borrowing space from CARFAC Saskatchewan, so the rent is cheap. The Exchange will also be run by volunteers, meaning there’s little overhead cost.

Those savings are passed along to shoppers. To participate, shoppers buy a $10 punch card and fill up a small, medium or large reusable bag with supplies. A $1 small bag is the size of a bathroom tote, while the large size $10 option is comparable to a large grocery bag.

Anyone is invited to donate items to the cause.

“I definitely have things that I intend to bring here. From paper to pastels to paint, to random strange items that might be used in collage or sculpture. Like a lot of artists, you end up with a lot of things you think you’ll use and then you never use. Your studio ends up like a hoarders den.”

Fulnovic hopes to be able to put out new stock every Monday.

“I’m hoping people are excited for Tuesdays now. It’s a day with a bad rap so we want people to be excited to come and see what’s on our shelves.”

That leaves Tuesday through Friday for the public to browse through the small space. The Art Supply Exchange will be open the same hours as CARFAC.

Once the initiative has established a solid customer base, it will look to expand its donation program to other locations around town.

“Places like the university, where people maybe take an art class one semester and don’t want to use charcoal again,” Fulnovic explained.

Police body cam catches crash, aftermath with drunk driver

Posted on: June 29th, 2019 by
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A police body camera captured not only the impact with a drunk driver in Florida on September 17th, but also the emotional aftermath of the shaken officer.

The video appears to show officer Eric Everley driving in his cruiser as he checks his cellphone, when suddenly a woman making a left hand turn comes out right in front of him.

According to department protocol, officers are allowed in-vehicle cellphone use.

The airbags were deployed inside the patrol car and the officer can be heard shouting an obscenity.

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The officer doesn’t take too long to exit his vehicle, but appears to be shaken as he walks up to the other car where he opens the door and finds a woman with her breasts exposed.

After asking the woman if she is OK he asks her to “fix herself” and then emphatically asks her “What are you doing? You pulled right in front of me.”

According to a WPEC report, Florida police said the woman had an open bottle of wine in her car.

Everley takes a moment to sit down on the curb until he notices the woman had put her car in reverse. The officer then walks back to the vehicle and asks the woman to put the car in park and asks for her keys.

Everley then takes a seat on the curb again waiting for paramedics to arrive and says to other people at the scene that he is “seeing stars” and that his “neck hurts.”

The camera then captures a short conversation with the police officer and a female bystander who asks “are you normally a motorcycle cop?“

“Yeah, I’d be dead,” he answers.

“Wow are you lucky!” the bystander said.

Both the officer and driver of the other vehicle were treated and released from hospital.

Cynthia Osborne, 53, was charged with DUI, driving without a license and refusing to submit to a blood test.


One man arrested following targeted shooting near Surrey elementary school

Posted on: June 29th, 2019 by
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UPDATE: Oct. 15, 2015 – One of the young men wanted in connection with a targeted shooting near a Surrey elementary school that sent a 22-year-old man to hospital has now been arrested.

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At approximately 2 a.m. this morning, a Surrey RCMP General Duty officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a red Ford Mustang in the area of 146 Street and 76 Avenue. The vehicle fled from the officer and was last seen travelling northbound on 146 Street before it was involved in a collision with an unoccupied vehicle nearby.

Two men were seen fleeing the vehicle. Multiple police units were dispatched to the scene, including police dogs and, as a result, two people believed to be the driver and passenger were arrested and taken into custody.

One of the suspects was identified as Amarpreet Samra, who was wanted for charges of attempt to commit murder and intentionally discharge a firearm in relation to a shooting incident that occurred in the Strawberry Hill area.

Surrey RCMP is still appealing to the public for information on the whereabouts of Shakiel Basra, the outstanding suspect. Basra is described as a 21-year-old South Asian male, 6’3”, 150 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes.

The victim in the shooting on Sept. 15, who is known to police, was sent to Royal Columbian Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police say some of the shots hit Strawberry Hill Elementary School and possibly a nearby house.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP’s tipline 604-915-6566 or their local police.


Amarpreet Samra, 21.

RCMP handout

Shakiel Basra, 21.

RCMP handout

Surveillance photo of the Jeep police want to find in connection with the shooting.

RCMP handout

Amarpreet Samra (L) and Shakiel Singh Basra (R) are facing two charges each — attempt to commit murder, and intentionally discharging a firearm.

RCMP handout

Stock image of a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

RCMP handout