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Thursday, 10 November 2011

Deadly shooting probe spreads to Vancouver suburb


The investigation into the slaying of a man gunned down Sunday morning in Vancouver has spread to the suburban community of Port Moody, CBC News has learned. Axel Curtis, 29, was hit when at least six shots were fired in broad daylight, about 9 a.m. Sunday at the corner of Ash and 7th Avenue West as he walked his dog. Police said Curtis was known to them and had past gang affiliations. There were no other injuries, and witnesses said the assailant, a man in a black hoodie, left the area on foot. Neighbours of a Port Moody apartment also frequented by Curtis say there was a sudden spike in police activity around the building Saturday night, hours before the shooting. On Monday, police searched the seventh-floor apartment, owned by Curtis’s father. Police would not comment on the Port Moody side of the investigation, but a female neighbour — who asked not to be identified — said the night before Curtis was killed in Vancouver police and emergency vehicles appeared to be stationed outside the Port Moody condo. "There was an ambulance ready to go,” the neighbour said. “With the police officers … driving back and forth, which struck me as a little strange, that maybe they were anticipating something happening." Watched for months The woman said officers appeared to be watching the apartment for months, and believes local residents should have been warned if violence was anticipated at the building. "They're kind of denying what I think is the public's right, or the people living on that floor's right … that there's possibly a safety concern." Curtis had previous convictions for drug trafficking, firearms possession and obstructing police. Curtis featured briefly in a CBC documentary on Vancouver gangsters, where he suggested to a female police officer who stopped him on the street in Downtown Vancouver that he had left the gang lifestyle. “I'm a changed man,” he told the officer in the production entitled “The Gangster Next Door.” “Oh, I don’t think so,” the officer replied.



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