Chilliwack RCMP on the scene of a shooting at the KalTire retread plant on Progress Way and Lickman Road on July 21. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Top Stories 2017: Four homicides in Chilliwack in the year

But arrests made in just one

Douglas Presseau. Steven Drage. Jose Martin Torres. Yee Hung Chin.

These are the names of the men who were victims of homicides in Chilliwack in 2017.

And while the case against Presseau’s two alleged killers is making its way through the courts, no one has been arrested or charged with the deaths of Drage, Torres or Chin.

In the most high-profile incident this year, Presseau and Drage were killed near Five Corners at around 10 p.m. on July 7. The downtown was busy with pedestrians at the time with the first Party in the Park ending about a half an hour before.

Two weeks later Kirkland Joseph Russell, 34, and Victoria Sherri Purcell, 29, were arrested, and each charged with one count of murder and one count of assault with a weapon.

They are charged in the killing of Presseau but not Drage, at least not yet. Crown counsel said in court on Nov. 7 that further charges were being considered against Russell. By the couple’s last appearance on Dec. 18 Russell had not been charged with anything further.

Both Russell and Purcell were held in custody for three months until Purcell was released on bail in early October on a $25,000 surety. Their next court appearance is Jan. 16 at which time they are scheduled to be arraigned.

The next homicide of 2017 occurred on July 21 when Yee Hung Chin was shot in broad daylight while he was moving a car where he worked at Kal Tire on Progress Way. Following what police called a targeted shooting, a vehicle linked to the killing was torched near the Vedder Canal.

No one has been arrested in that case. The 33-year-old Chin was an integral member of the notorious FOB gang from Calgary. His younger brother Roger was killed in 2008, and in 2012 the then 29-year-old Chin was sentenced to seven years in prison for possessing a loaded handgun found in his vehicle.

People who knew Chin in Chilliwack were shocked to hear about the history of the man they knew as “Jason.” They said he liked to work out, ride his motorcycle and he was involved in a local church.

The fourth homicide of 2017 in Chilliwack, also unsolved, involved another shooting, this time of 35-year-old Jose Martin Torres, a man known to police.

Torres was targeted in what police called “a brazen shooting in a residential neighbourhood.” The killing took place in a house just before 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 3 in the 9500-block of Williams Street.

As for homicides going through the court system, there was some resolution in three cases.

In June, Aaron Douglas was convicted of the 2014 murder of Tyler Belcourt and the attempted murder of Penniw White in an apartment downtown Chilliwack. But the 11-person jury could not come to a verdict on whether or not Douglas killed Richard Blackmon in the same incident. He is yet to be sentenced, and he will be retried in 2018 for the killing of Blackmon.

Then in August, Daniel Joseph Fabas was sentenced to seven years for the April 18, 2016 killing of David Williams. Fabas shot Williams out of a Princess Avenue drug dealer’s ground floor apartment.

And in a surprise move in October, Gerald Leslie Dolman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the May 6, 2016 stabbing death of Robert Splitt in front of the Save-On-Foods downtown. The conviction comes with an automatic life sentence, and the judge ordered Dolman not eligible for parole for 11 years.

The first-degree murder case of Clayton Jacob Warkentin accused of killing his mother in Yarrow in 2016 is still before the courts.

As is the case of David McKay and Cyndie Markel-Rempel accused of killing John “Mikey” Anderson in a Glenwood Street drug house on July 6, 2016.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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Fully-involved vehicle fire underneath the Highway 1 bridge over the Vedder Canal Friday morning soon after a shooting at KalTire on Progress Way. (Rob Topp Photo)

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