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The 'Dangerous Six': Vancouver police identify potential targets of public gang violence

'Police are expecting this violence to continue and to potentially escalate'
The six men the VPD are warning about (clockwise, starting top left): Garinder Deo (35), Harjit Deo (38), Ekene Anigbo (22), Damion Ryan (41), Meninder Dhaliwal (28), Barinder Dhaliwal (38).

The Vancouver Police Department released the names and photos of six men related to the Metro Vancouver gang scene, warning the public just being near these six is dangerous.

With 20 gang-related murders so far in Metro Vancouver this year, and 20 attempted murders, Chief Constable Adam Palmer and the VPD held a press conference today as part of their gang-enforcement operation, warning that just being near the six men could be a risk including being in the same grocery store.

The 'Dangerous Six'

“These six individuals pose a risk to the people around them because it's highly likely a rival gangster will try to target them with extreme violence,” Palmer said in the press conference. “And we know these violent acts are happening brazenly in public places, in broad daylight and crowded areas.”

He added that police have information suggesting the six will be targeted in the coming days or months and police want the public to be aware for safety reasons.

“They may be shot at in a public place and we're warning the public to stay away from them,” Palmer said.

The six men are:

  • Garinder Deo (35)
  • Harjit Deo (38)
  • Ekene Anigbo (22)
  • Barinder Dhaliwal (38)
  • Meninder Dhaliwal (28)
  • Damion Ryan (41)

The six aren’t wanted by police (some are facing charges), currently, but Palmer said if patrons or business owners spot one of the six and are feeling uncomfortable at a place, like a restaurant, they can call the police and VPD officers will come and interact with the gang member.

He noted that this isn’t “an exhaustive list” and the VPD and other local police agencies are aware of dozens and dozens of gang members. More photos and lists are expected to be released as police work to stem the ongoing gang violence, but in the immediate future Palmer says things are not expected to slow.

“Police are expecting this violence to continue and to potentially escalate,” he noted about the current violence.

He added that one of his greatest concerns is that an innocent bystander will be killed.

Deputy Chief Constable Howard Chow, who leads the operations division, said efforts are being made to make sure all frontline officers know who the six are and other members of gangs in Vancouver.

“Every day these same gangsters are going to our grocery stores, they’re going to our restaurants, they’re going to our public spaces and they pose a significant threat and risk to the public and that’s why we’ve taken these extraordinary measures,” said Chow.

Officers will regularly patrol areas gang members frequent, Chow added, noting he wants to make it “really uncomfortable” for them.

Palmer added that the VPD is also skilled in seizing property from criminal organizations.

“We've had years where the VPD has seized over $20 million in proceeds of crime in a single year,” he noted.

Those tools allow the police to come at the gang members in a variety of ways, he added.

“It’s a holistic approach,” Palmer said.

New task force

At the same time Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Wilson announced a new task force has been formed inside the VPD to tackle the current gang situation. Dubbed Task Force Threshold, it’s bringing together specialized detectives and analysts.

“The purpose of the task force is to bring together resources and expertise from the VPD’s investigation and operations divisions for an immediate response to gang violence,” she said.

The task force, which was formed last week, has already had success stopping potential shooting on May 12. Superintendent Lisa Byrne says a stolen vehicle was exhibiting suspicious behaviour and had gas canisters in the back.

“One of the individuals had a loaded firearm on his person,” she said. “This investigation is ongoing and we do anticipate forwarding charges to Crown Counsel in the near future.”

Byrne also noted the VPD has experience with a similar task force. Task Force Tourniquet started in 2017 and in the following years resulted in multiple seizures and more than 200 charges for gang members. Through that operation, a crime group was dismantled and police were able to stop a variety of “events.”

They also seized a rural farm in Langley which was used as a staging area for murders.

“These kill kits were all assembled and ready to go at this farm,” she said. “Now we didn’t get charges at that farm, but... the civil forfeiture was enacted on that farm.”

One thing Byrne says gangs were doing then and now is bring in people from outside Vancouver for murders.

“Individuals were flown in with the specific purpose of committing murder in the Lower Mainland,” Byrne said. “They were also flown in with the specific purpose of taking over drug lines using force which often will result in murder.”

That makes it difficult for police to recognize suspects she added.

What should you do if you are caught in a gang shooting?

When asked what to do if caught in a shooting situation, Palmer said the public should do what is always suggested in an active shooter situation.

"You want to run and get out of the way or hide and duck for cover," he said.

While some may want to take video of the situation, Palmer advised against that, saying safety is paramount. However, he added, if someone does get video, the police would like to see it.

Additionally, call 911 immediately, he added.