'Surrey Six' murder trial set to begin
Sep 30, 2013 / 7:08 am
Six years after one of the most notorious gang shootings in British Columbia, the "Surrey Six" murder trial is set to begin in B.C. Supreme Court Monday.
Three men are being tried in the October 2007 fatal shooting of four gang members and two innocent bystanders in a Surrey highrise apartment building.
It was a shooting that many say marked the start of a violent gang war in Metro Vancouver in which shootings become a regular occurrence in a battle over the region's drug trade.
According to the RCMP, the four intended victims were involved in the local drug trade and the shooting was a “gangland execution fueled by drugs, gangs and guns."
Two years after the shooting, police arrested and charged several men, all allegedly members or associates of the Red Scorpion Gang.
Monday's trial concerns Matthew Johnston, Cory Haevischer and Quang Vinh Thang (Michael) Le. All are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
One man, who can no longer be identified, has already pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder.
Another man, Jamie Bacon -- the alleged gang leader -- faces trial separately at a later date.
The families of the two innocent bystanders -- 22-year-old Christopher Mohan and 55-year-old Ed Shellenberg -- say they are still mourning their losses.
Chris Mohan lived nearby in the apartment building, while Schellenberg was in the building to do routine fireplace maintenance. Police believe both happened to walk by as the shootings began.
Mohan's mother Eileen says she constantly thinks about how her life would be different if her son had not been in the apartment at the time of the shooting.
“I sometimes wonder what would it have been like having him here today. It would have been a beautiful, beautiful world together,” she told CTV News ahead of the trial.
Mohan says she has been awaiting the trial for several years, and banked her vacation time so that she can be present for most of the court proceedings.
“From the beginning, I wanted to know what happened, how did it happen?” Mohan said. “So I’m going there to sit down and represent my son, and to listen to how this happened. How did we fail?”
Shellenberg’s brother-in-law, Steve Brown, says he too has been waiting for closure for a long time.
“There’s absolutely no closure until everything is said and done for me,” he said.
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