One year ago today, at around 7 p.m., Jaskaran (Jassi) Bhangal and Jaskarn (Jason) Jhutty were playing basketball with a group at Georges Vanier Elementary, in the 6900-block of 142 Street.
It was the last time they were seen alive.
Late that same night, the teens were shot to death in South Surrey’s Campbell Heights neighbourhood.
Tuesday morning their families appealed for anyone with information that could help police solve the case to come forward.
“I didn’t just lose my baby brother, I lost a piece of myself that I can never get back,” Sharon Bhangal said of 17-year-old Jassi, during a news conference Tuesday morning at the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team headquarters.
“I lost my only sibling and my parents lost their only son.”
Jassi Bhangal and 16-year-old Jhutty were found dead on June 4, 2018, just after 10:30 p.m., near 192 Street and 40 Avenue.
The pair were described at the time as high school students who were known to each other but not to police. Police also stated their belief that the deaths were not random.
Tuesday, IHIT spokesman Cpl. Frank Jang reiterated that the teens “were not randomly murdered.” Police believe the violence was gang-related, but say there is no evidence linking either victim with “any sort of gangs,” he said.
“As far as we know, based on police data bases, members of the community, friends, schoolmates – everyone that would have know what these two young boys were up to – they were not criminals. There is nothing to show that,” Jang said.
Pawan Jhutty said her brother was “one of a kind… a gentle soul.”
She said while the family should be preparing for Jason’s graduation, they are instead in the heartbreaking position of asking the community to help solve his murder.
“Someone out there knows what happened to Jason,” she said. “The smallest piece of information means everything to us.”
The teens’ bodies were discovered less than an hour after Surrey RCMP were alerted to a burning car in the area of 184 Street and 29A Avenue, and just a half hour before police were notified of a second burned car, at 172 Street and 93 Avenue.
Jang said investigators believe the burned cars were related to the murders, however, the owners of the vehicles have been ruled out as suspects.
Despite appeals for anyone with information to come forward, as yet, there have been no arrests or charges in connection with the case.
While many have shared information with investigators in the past year, “some have shut the door on us,” Jang said.
He said investigators remain hopeful those individuals and others will come forward.
“We will wait it out,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448 (IHIT) or firstname.lastname@example.org
To remain anonymous, call 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).