Police have released few details, but police spokesman Const. Brian Montague confirmed one man is dead after an attack on Elgin Street near East 47th Avenue.
Photograph by: Shane MacKichan , Special to the Sun
VANCOUVER – A sword attack in East Vancouver Wednesday night left a 19-year-old man dead, and five men facing possible charges.
At a news conference Thursday morning, Vancouver police spokesman Const. Brian Montague said police were called to the 6300-block of Elgin Street near East 47th Avenue around 10:30 p.m., after receiving a report that a group of men were fighting in the street with weapons including bats and swords.
When officers arrived, they found the young man with severe injuries believed to be caused by a sword. He was taken to hospital by ambulance where he was pronounced dead.
Five men between the ages of 19 and 21 were arrested Wednesday night. Two men have since been released while three remain in custody. No charges have been laid.
Four were arrested when they showed up at Vancouver General Hospital for treatment for a range of injuries. The fifth man was arrested near 41st Street.
“It’s our belief that they were all involved in the attack at Elgin at 47th, but what their roles were is still unclear,” said Montague.
One vehicle was also seized at that location while another, a silver Honda SUV was towed from the scene of the attack, Montague said.
It is the city’s first homicide of 2013.
“There’s nothing for the general public to be concerned about,” said Montague. He said the victim, a Vancouver resident, is known to police and believed to have ties to the city’s drug trade.
Montague said police believe the attack was targeted, but do not know whether it was related to gang activity.
At the scene early Thursday morning, police cordoned off a block of Elgin at 47th Avenue. The Forensic Identification Unit was called in and investigators were examining a silver SUV parked in the middle of Elgin with a smashed back window and the passenger side door open. The vehicle, a Honda Pilot, was later towed away for further investigation.
At one of the houses behind police tape, officers draped white sheets on the doorstep and front yard of a burgundy-coloured home.
Montague could not confirm reports the victim was forced out of the SUV before he was swarmed by the group of men.
According to an emergency service report at 1:15 a.m., one man was found “partially decapitated” in the 6300-block of Elgin, but Montague could not confirm the nature of the victim’s injuries.
One ES report said one of the suspects had his thumb severed.
Investigators are appealing to any possible witnesses to call police.
The name of the victim has not been released.
Concerned neighbour Manpreet Pandhar, 20 said he has lived in the neighbourhood for 10 years and has never heard of any violence happening in the “really quiet” area. “My brother was out walking the dog around 10:45ish and he said there were police cars everywhere and they’ve got everything taped off and that something was going down,” he said, adding that he did not hear any gunshots or screaming.
He said it is very unsettling to hear that a murder had happened so close to his house.
Sukhvir Dhaliwal, who lives in a house on the corner of Elgin and 47th, said he was just getting ready for bed around 10:30 p.m. when his young daughter came into his bedroom and told him there were flashing lights outside. He went outside and saw a man being put in an ambulance on a stretcher.
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