Surrey Six trial: Building manager talks
Oct 2, 2013 / 7:41 am
The 15th-floor condo unit where half a dozen people, including two innocent bystanders, were gunned down in a gangland execution near Vancouver six years ago was frequented by a revolving cast of shady characters who the building's managers believed were buying and selling drugs, the trial for three people accused in the mass killing heard Tuesday.
Building manager Tracy Carothers said she was so concerned about unit 1505 of the Balmoral Tower, located in Surrey, that when fireplace repairman Ed Schellenberg and his nephew Zach were servicing the building on Oct. 19, 2007, Carothers suggested Schellenberg handle the unit because of the sort of people inside.
"I had mentioned to Ed that I didn't think it would be a good environment for Zach to go into, because young men of questionable behaviour (were inside)," Carothers testified at the trial of three alleged gang members facing murder and conspiracy charges.
"I just felt Zach was young and (it was) not a good environment for him."
On that Friday afternoon six years ago, Carothers was accompanying Schellenberg as he entered units on the 15th floor to service the building's gas fireplaces.
Before her conversation with Schellenberg, Carothers knocked on the door of unit 1505, where she was greeted by two Asian men she had never met before and the unit's tenant, who she knew as Chris Baldini. She also encountered a fourth man in the hallway, described as a young Asian man, who later walked into the unit, she said.
Carothers left Schellenberg behind on the 15th floor as he walked into unit 1505 to begin his work. It was the last time she saw him.
Schellenberg and Chris Mohan, a 22-year-old student who lived across the hall, were shot along with four other men who had ties to gangs and drugs. The Crown has alleged the killing began as a hit on a drug rival, but five more, including Schellenberg and Mohan, were killed to eliminate potential witnesses.
The other victims were Corey Lal, who the Crown contends was the intended target of the shooting, Lal's brother Michael, Edward Narong and Ryan Bartolomeo.
Matthew Johnston, Cory Haevischer and Quang Vinh Thang (Michael) Le are now on trial for various murder and conspiracy charges. A co-accused has already pleaded guilty and another, alleged gang leader Jamie Bacon, is scheduled for trial next year.
Johnston and Haevischer are accused of being directly involved in the killing, along with another man who cannot be named, while Le and Bacon -- who the Crown alleges were the leaders of the Red Scorpions gang -- are accused of being part of the conspiracy.
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