A man wanted in connection with three shootings in Burnaby was shot and killed in north Maple Ridge today.
RCMP confirmed Angus David Mitchell, 26, died in hospital hours after being surrounded by police near 132nd Avenue, where a full-fledged gun battle took place prior to his arrest.
A woman spotted Mitchell’s green Ford Aerostar van at the end of 216th Street around 11 a.m. Wednesday, less than an one hour after RCMP issued an alert asking the public to keep an eye out for it.
Plainclothes officers from Ridge Meadows RCMP kept the van under surveillance after confirming Mitchell was inside, while other officers shut down streets.
Police tried to talk Mitchell out of his car but he would not cooperate.
Mitchell then shot at the officers with his his high-powered Mossberg Maverick hunting rifle but did not attempt to flee. No officers were injured.
Craig Marquis, who works at MREC Feed and Tack on 132nd Ave., near 224th Street, heard the gunshots.
“It sounded like a couple of single gun shots and then machine-gun fire,” he said.
Vancouver Police have taken charge of the scene and will investigate the shooting.
“These situations are tragic. Nobody in law enforcement likes to see this type of situation end up in gun fire,” Ridge Meadows RCMP Supt. Dave Walsh said.
“Not a happy day for us and not the resolution we were looking for.”
Police issued a warning about Mitchell early Wednesday, asking anyone who knew him or had a conflict with him to be on guard.
Police allege he shot a 51-year-old Burnaby man in front of his home in the 4400-block of Gilpin Crescent Tuesday, May 29. The man survived and is in hospital in serious condition.
Mitchell is also a “person of interest” in the double homicide in South Burnaby on Sunday, May 27. In that incident, 36-year-old Burnaby resident Huong (Andy) Tran and a woman were shot to death at Tran’s Royal Oak Sushi House on Royal Oak Avenue near Kingsway.
Police have not yet established a motive for the murders.
While the forensics work from the murder scene has yet to be completed, there appear to be links between the two incidents, said Sgt. Pound, a spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).
“Just geographically, Burnaby doesn’t see a lot of these kinds of crimes,” Pound added. “It looks like it might be a similar weapon, but again, forensics will have to shine a light on that.”
Mitchell was a former security guard who worked in that industry “for some time.” He appeared to have had conflict with former employers and coworkers.
The reason for Mitchell’s eviction six months ago was unknown other than that there was “some level of conflict between him and the former landlord.”
– With files from Phil Melnychuk & Black Press, photos by Tim Fitzgerald