An Abbotsford man has pleaded guilty to two of the five charges he faced in relation to a gunfight in August 2020.
Amritpal Saran, 24, was scheduled to begin his trial Monday (May 15) in Abbotsford provincial court, but instead pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a restricted firearm and unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
Three other charges – unauthorized possession of a firearm, storage of a firearm contrary to regulation, and unlawfully discharging a firearm – are expected to be stayed at sentencing.
Saran is next due in court July 24 for a pre-sentence report.
He was charged in December 2020 in relation to a shooting incident that took place Aug. 29, 2020 in the 33800 block of Mayfair Avenue.
According to court documents, Saran told police that he and his girlfriend were in a Volkswagen Jetta in his driveway when three or four occupants of a Ford F-150 pickup truck fired shots at them, hitting the car and the house.
The suspects sped away, and nobody was injured.
Saran was denied bail in December 2020, and in the decision posted online, Judge Gregory Brown said Saran appeared to be “entrenched in a gangs-and-guns lifestyle.”
Brown said there was a strong case to prove that Saran was the first to fire at gang rivals.
The judge said video evidence showed, as a pickup truck pulled up to Saran’s home, he jumped out of the passenger seat of the Jetta and “continually shot at the truck,” and the occupants of the truck shot back.
“The video clearly depicts a gunfight in this residential neighbourhood and Mr. Saran was the first shooter,” Brown wrote.
The judge said evidence found in the Saran home included a Dagger semi-automatic shotgun, a banana-style magazine with nine Winchester 12-gauge shotgun shells, an ammunition box with 10 223-calibre rifle rounds, and another box with 32 9mm rounds.
Brown said also found in the house were boxes of various other ammunition, a taser rod, a firearm stock and a Glock pistol magazine with nine 9mm rounds.
Brown said the Abbotsford Police Department’s gang crime unit had identified Saran as a “public safety risk” and that he is allegedly known to carry a firearm.
In 2019, Saran supposedly indicated that he was being targeted by rival gang members, but he did not take advantage of any exit options offered by police.
The judge denied bail for Saran, saying he should be detained due to the “gravity of the offence.”
No arrests were made, or charges laid, of the other parties involved in the gunfight.