One man was taken to hospital following a shooting incident near the South Surrey-Langley border Thursday (Sept. 17). It was the first of three incidents in three days in the Langley area. (Tracy Holmes/Special to Langley Advance Times)

‘Punk’ gangs likely source of shootings in Langley area: criminologist

There have been three incidents in as many days

A recent rash of shootings in the Langley area is likely the result of a conflict between less well-established “punk” gangs who have few options beyond violence when they are challenged.

That is the assessment of University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) criminologist and professor emeritus, Yvon Dandurand, following three Langley-area shooting incidents in as many days.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: One injured in shooting on South Surrey-Langley border

On Thursday, Sept. 17, one man ended up in hospital after a shooting incident near the Surrey-Langley border.

Just before 10:30 p.m., police were dispatched to the area of 194 Street and 34 Avenue for reports of gunfire, where officers located a man suffering from gunshot wounds, who was transported to a regional trauma hospital. Further south, in the 18100-block of 12 Avenue, a burned-out vehicle was located.

READ MORE: Altercation with gunfire in Langley lands two in hospital

Then, on Friday, Sept. 18, two men were taken to hospital after gunfire erupted in the Brookswood neighbourhood of Langley early in the morning.

It happened in the area of 212th Street and 42nd Avenue, directly to the north of Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School, shortly after 5 a.m.

READ MORE: VIDEO: gunshots fired outside Langley gas station

On Saturday, Sept. 19, two people started shooting at each other at a Langley gas station near 232nd Street and 72nd Avenue around 11 p.m.

They fled the scene before police arrived. No injuries were reported.

“It’s an indication of the fact the gangs are not getting along,” according to Dandurand, a UFV faculty member in the university’s Criminology and Criminal Justice department.

And, probably, smaller, less well-established gangs.

“Not well-connected, not particularly powerful,” Dandurand theorized.

“Just a bunch of punks.”

Unlike bigger, better established gangs, the smaller organizations lack resources and are compelled to respond in kind when they are attacked, or risk a hazardous loss of reputation.

“If you let one group think you are incapable of violence, you’re done,” Dandurand related.

“It’s survival for them. They can’t take each other to court, they can’t call the police. The gun is an immediate solution.”

Usually, gangs understand it is in their best interest to get along.

But when one criminal group becomes weak – if, for example, it starts having trouble supplying dealers with drugs – another gang will move into their territory.

“It upsets the balance of power” Dandurand said.

“When gangs and players are stabilized, it’s not in their interest to be violent.”

Older, bigger and better-established gangs have options beyond public displays of violence to settle disputes, Dandurand noted.

Dandurand said the clashes between gangs do not mean an increase in the crime rate, and he does not believe the violence is predictably cyclical.

“It comes in spurts,” Dandurand said.

Dandurand said the current conflict will wind down because the gangs simply can’t keep it up.

“They are all looking over their shoulders. They get tired. They can’t sustain the violence indefinitely.”

While members of the public are not at direct risk, there is still a hazard, Dandurand said.

“Unfortunately, every so often, there’s a bystander who gets caught [in the crossfire],” Dandurand noted.

Langley RCMP Sgt. Rebecca Parslow said the two Langley incidents were believed to be “targeted” shootings that are not believed to be connected, adding police understand the concern because they happened in public spaces.

She said she could not speak to the Surrey incident.

Parslow said anyone with information that might assist the investigation is asked to call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200. Or, to remain anonymous, they can call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

B.C. gang problemcrimeLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Students at Brookswood Secondary participated in Student Vote 2020. (Katie Glover/Special to Langley Advance Times)
PHOTOS: Students cast a ballot for Langley candidates

Brookswood Secondary participated in Student Vote 2020

Voting locations in Langley for the 2020 BC provincial election. (Google)
MAP: Voting locations in Langley

Sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Aldergrove legion Branch 265 president Doug Hadley presents a poppy to Langley Township mayor Jack Froese. (Madeline Roach/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Poppy sales begin at Aldergrove legion branch #265

Branch president Doug Hadley shared the poem Who is a Veteran to begin the time of remembrance

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read