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Man found dead in Burnaby targeted in two earlier Coquitlam shootings: police

The body of Chris Irwin, 31, was found in a vacant lot on Norland Street Thursday. Police say there had been two earlier attempts on his life – one that saw a father shot in front of his nine-year-old son in a case of 'mistaken identity.'

The suspected target of two earlier Lower Mainland shootings has been identified as the man found dead in a Burnaby industrial area Thursday.

Burnaby RCMP responded to a large vacant gravel lot on Norland Avenue by Laurel Street at about 9:45 a.m. Thursday after a member of the public located a man’s body.

The man’s injuries were “consistent with foul play,” according to police, and the investigation was turned over to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

Earlier on Thursday, at about 4:30 a.m., police in New Westminster had been called to a vehicle fire in the 400 block of Fader Street, and investigators believe that fire was linked to the Burnaby killing.

IHIT has now identified the victim as 31-year-old Chris Irwin and say the incident was targeted.

In April, Coquitlam RCMP put out a news release saying Irwin had been the intended target of two earlier shootings at Chickadee Place in Coquitlam.

In the first, on Dec. 4, 2021, a man was shot inside his vehicle while his nine-year-old son was in the backseat in what police said was a case of “mistaken identity.”

In the second shooting, on March 25, 2022, Irwin himself was shot and taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police at the time warned that anyone with or near Irwin might be putting themselves at risk.

“Known gang members often travel between jurisdictions and it is important for the public to be aware so that appropriate measures can be taken to ensure their safety,” Coquitlam RCMP Const. Deanna said.  

IHIT said they were releasing Irwin’s name and photo to further the investigation and identify more witnesses.

“We are releasing Mr. Irwin’s name in hopes that witnesses will come forward who can assist us in building a timeline of Mr. Irwin’s whereabouts in the time leading to his death,” media spokesperson Sgt. Timothy Pierotti said in a news release Saturday.  “Investigators continue to work tirelessly to collect evidence and speak with witnesses. We urge any associates of Mr. Irwin to please come forward.”

Anyone with information or anyone with dashcam traveling in the 3300 block of Norland Avenue in Burnaby between 3:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. or the area of Fader Street and Braid Street in New Westminster between 3:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. Thursday is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

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