Police have ‘viable suspects’ in B.C. gangster’s 2017 murder

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with the homicide.

  • Dec. 18, 2018 7:30 a.m.

Kamloops This Week

Police have “viable suspects” in the 2017 Kamloops shooting that left a founding member of one of B.C.’s most notorious drug gangs dead, but not enough evidence to lay charges, a judge has been told.

Konaam Shirzad was gunned down outside his Guerin Creek home on the evening of Sept. 21, 2017. The 34-year-old, who owned a North Kamloops gym, was one of the founding members of the Red Scorpions, the gang behind the 2007 Surrey Six slayings in the Lower Mainland.

At the time, witnesses told KTW they heard a number of gunshots, followed by a man screaming “No! No! No!”

In B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with Shirzad’s murder.

In doing so, Wiberg also asked for — and was granted — a sealing order protecting police affidavits containing information about the RCMP investigation into the slaying.

“This is an ongoing investigation that police still have viable suspects, but there isn’t sufficient evidence to lay charges at this point,” Wiberg said.

Konaam Shirzad

Read more: Red Scorpions co-founder killed in Kamloops shooting

Read more: The hunt for Kamloops shooting suspects

Less than three weeks after Shirzad’s death, fellow Red Scorpion Ibrahim Amjad Ibrahim was killed in Richmond. Ibrahim was walking with Shirzad and another man when the trio was ambushed by two men. Ibrahimn was uninjured and the third associate was shot in the ankle.

The Red Scorpions gang was founded in the early 2000s by Shirzad, Michael Le and Matthew Johnston.

Le served three years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges for his part in the Surrey Six murders. Le, 32, plotted the hit of a rival drug dealer that turned into the deadliest gangland massacre in B.C. history, with two innocent passersby executed alongside four gang members in a Surrey high-rise building.

Prosecutors dropped a charge of first-degree murder in exchange for Le’s plea. Court heard Le and Jamie Bacon plotted the murder after Cory Lal, a rival drug dealer, refused to pay a $100,000 tax to the Red Scorpions.

Johnston is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder after he was convicted in 2014 for his role in the Surrey Six plot, while Bacon’s charges of murder and conspiracy, some of which were stayed due to delay, remain before the courts.

Security cameras caught these two men walking toward Konaam Shirzad’s Guerin Creek home shortly before he was shot and killed on Sept. 21, 2017. Police have yet to make an arrest in the murder.

Shirzad had a lengthy criminal record. In 2005, he was sentenced to more than two years in prison after ordering a hit from behind bars. He had also served time for attempted murder and various weapons offences.

Shirzad was with two other people when he was shot to death outside his Kamloops home. One of them, 30-year-old Ibrahim Amjad Ibrahim, was found shot to death in a Richmond park three weeks after Shirzad was killed.

Eight months before he was slain, police raided Shirzad’s gym.

Shirzad told KTW police did not find anything illegal in his gym because he was no longer part of the lifestyle that landed him behind bars.

“My past got brought up, but I’ve been doing a lot of good lately,” Shirzad said.

At an October 2010 court hearing, Shirzad claimed he had left the gang life.

After being sentenced to three years in jail for weapons offences, Shirzad told the court: “I see this as a learning curve. Hopefully, when my time is done, I’ll never have to come back to court again. I’ve pretty much learned my lesson.”

Read more: Suspect in assault of Kamloops Mountie arrested

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon bylaw says Frosty has to go: store owner

Vernon Teach and Learn told to take down inflatable snowman

Night eyes for Kamloops-based air ambulance

Helicopters equipped with military-grade night-vision technology

City of Vernon invests in safety, infrastructure and well-being in 2020 budget

Firefighters, bylaw and infrastructure behind Vernon’s 4.91% tax hike

Vernon bowlers qualify for YBC provincials

Zakk Hamilton and Liam Arnold capture zone titles to advance to B.C. finals

Vernon Miracle Bucket Society founder fondly remembered

Lezley Wright succumbed to cancer at age 57 on Dec. 7

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Safe donation bins coming to Okanagan streets

UBC Okanagan engineering students help design bins for non-profits

Former Summerland lifeguard will continue to receive pension benefits

Edward Casavant has pleaded guilty to several child sexual assault and pornography charges

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

Most Read