The family of a murdered Coquitlam teenager is hoping their son's death can continue to lead to changes in curbing Lower Mainland gang violence.
Police say a 26-year-old man was arrested and charged on multiple counts from a Vancouver double murder in January 2018 that claimed the life of Alfred Wong — a Grade 10 student at Pinetree Secondary.
Kane Carter was taken into custody in Ontario on Tuesday (March 8), according to a release from the Vancouver Police Department today (March 9).
It explains Carter is facing the following charges:
- Two counts of second degree murder
- One count of aggravated assault for the shooting of a third person, who was not seriously injured
- One count of discharging a firearm with the intent to injure another person
Wong died from his injuries on Jan. 15, 2018, two days after he and his family were caught in a crossfire and was hit by a stray bullet while sitting in the back of their vehicle as they were heading out for dinner.
Kevin Whiteside, the 23-year-old second victim in the double murder, was believed to be in the area to shoot a rival who was also having dinner at a restaurant in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood near Broadway and Ontario Street, police say.
VPD Chief Const. Adam Palmer explains gunfire was exchanged as the Wong family passed by the restaurant in their vehicle.
"This was a long and complex investigation, which took some of VPD’s most experienced homicide investigators across the country to secure and gather evidence," said Palmer.
"Investigators interviewed hundreds of witnesses and processed thousands of exhibits. And while it has taken more than four years to arrive here, I was always confident this day would come."
"PROMISING" YOUNG MAN
Wong was described "promising" and "good" by his peers.
He was a member of the Hyack Swim Club, and his family were regular attendees of the Coquitlam Christ Church of China.
"It’s something I’ve never done in my time as a coach. It was very hard. It was very emotional for me to tell them," said Wong's former swimming coach Frici Laszlo, who described Wong as a nice person, "an amazing kid."
A family friend also described the youth as "sweet" and a "good boy" who went to church and worked hard at school.
In a statement provided by VPD, the Wong family is grateful for officers' commitment to their son's case for all these years.
"We are optimistic that all those involved in the crime will be brought to justice," the letter reads.
"We hope that Alfred’s death will be a catalyst for change in combating gang violence in the Greater Vancouver Area and that going forward there will be no more similar incidents."
Palmer says the arrest made in Wong's case should also serve as a warning for members of Lower Mainland gang conflict.
He says actions have consequences and that police won't stop any "pursuit of the truth, evidence, and accountability" in violent crimes.
- with files from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News