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Charges laid in deadly Burnaby shooting

Police say 19-year-old victim had 'criminal affiliations' and shooting linked to Lower Mainland gang conflict

A 20-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in what police say was a gang-linked shooting in Burnaby Saturday.

Toni Dalipi, 19, was shot to death outside a vape store on Sixth Street near 13th Avenue at about 7 p.m.

On Monday morning, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced charges had been laid against 20-year-old Ahmed Riyaz Tahir.

IHIT confirmed an innocent bystander had also been injured in the “brazen daylight shooting” but sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Supt. Graham De la Gorgendiere, the acting officer in charge of the Burnaby RCMP, said he was troubled that an innocent bystander had been hit by gunfire in his city.

“This violence should not be happening in our streets, and I want to assure the public we are doing everything that we can to stop this,” he said. “I hope residents will find some comfort in knowing that charges have been laid and an arrest has been made in this case.”

There have been a string of increasingly brazen deadly shootings across the Lower Mainland in recent weeks, the most recent at Vancouver International Airport Sunday afternoon.

De la Gorgendiere said Burnaby RCMP's dedicated gang enforcement team, launched in January, is working to combat gang activity in the city.

In the last three months, he said the team has made 400 vehicle checks targeting individuals with suspected gang ties. He said officers have laid charges against a number of people and seized weapons and $40,000 in cash.

“We are making a dent in deterring and disrupting gang activity, but there’s still much work to be done," De la Gorgendiere said.

Dalipi had no criminal record, but Assistant Commissioner Manny Mann, the head of B.C.'s anti-gang agency, said he had had “criminal affiliations” and the killing was linked to the Lower Mainland gang conflict.

Mann said it was premature to discuss which gangs were involved.

Relatives of Dalipi have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to take him “back home” to Kosovo for burial.

“Toni was a loving, kind, gentle young man,” reads the campaign introduction. “He cared for everyone in his life dearly. He loved his family so much and all he wanted to do was make everyone around very proud of him.”

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
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