Vancouver police release new info on anniversary of shooting that killed innocent bystander

Vancouver Courier

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It has been one year since two people, including a 15-year-old innocent bystander, were killed in a brazen shootout on Broadway and on Friday morning Vancouver police released some new details.

Kevin Whiteside, 23, and Alfred Wong, 15, were both shot Jan. 13, 2018 on Broadway near Ontario Street. Sgt. Mike Heard, who is heading the investigation, said Friday that police believe that Whiteside was in the area to allegedly kill 28-year-old Matthew Navas-Rivas, who was at Indochine restaurant that night with a “female companion.”

As they left the restaurant, Whiteside opened fire on Navas-Rivas, who Heard said was unarmed that night and had been targeted in the past, and an unidentified second shooter returned gunfire. Whiteside was hit and died later in hospital. Wong and his family just happened to be driving along Broadway when the shooting broke out. The teen was hit by a stray bullet and died two days later.

A third person, a Vancouver man in his 30s, sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene. Heard said investigators believe that man had no connection to the shooting.

“This reckless violence really shook our community and we have zero tolerance for it in our city,” Heard said. “We have been in close contact with Alfred’s family over the past year and have been providing them with information and support.”

Navas-Rivas was killed six months later on July 15 in another targeted shooting near Tillicum Community Annex on Cambridge Street in East Vancouver. Heard said that while it also involved Navas-Rivas, investigators don’t believe that incident was related to the shooting that killed Whiteside and Wong.

“Unfortunately, due to Mr. Navas-Rivas’ criminal lifestyle there’s a lot of people who had reason to harm him or kill him… we believe these two incidents are separate and different,” he said. “Two different people targeted him.”

Whiteside was also known to police and had connections to gangs. He had multiple convictions including ones for possession for the purpose of trafficking, assault with a weapon, breaking and entering, and possessing a firearm while prohibited. He was subject to a lifetime firearms ban.

In addition to new details about the shooting, police Friday revealed information about two vehicles believed to be involved in the incident. One is a red Pontiac Montana that was seized about a month after the shooting.

Heard said that officers have not yet been able to speak to the owner.

Investigators also released dash-cam video from the night of the shooting that shows a dark pick-up truck turning left, crossing several lanes of traffic, onto Ontario Street from Broadway at the time of the incident.

Heard said officers would like to speak to the occupants of that vehicle.

“This has been an active, complex investigation,” he said, later adding, “I am pleased with the progress we have made to date. We have released these new details today because we know there are people with important information about these deaths who have chosen not to talk to our investigators. We are asking them to do the right thing and contact us now.”

Anyone who may have information about this incident, who has not yet spoken with police, is asked to call detectives at 604-717-0515 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.