SHOOTING: Two men, including known gangster, dead after shots fired at Burnaby’s Executive hotel

A photo taken by Gordon Shank from his living room window shows the aftermath of a shooting at the Executive Hotel and Conference Centre on Lougheed Highway in Burnaby. Submitted photo

JOHN COLEBOURN AND CASSIDY OLIVIER
VANCOUVER DESI

A high-ranking member of the Dhak-Duhre crime group and his body guard were gunned down in a hail of bullets in the lobby of a Burnaby hotel just before noon Monday.

Police did not identify the slain men but sources have confirmed to the Province that Sukhveer Dhak, 27, was gunned down along with his body guard Thomas Mantel.

Dhak was on bail on charges of being the alleged mastermind behind an East Vancouver drug lab and was due in BC Supreme Court Tuesday morning for the continuation of his trial.

His 30-year-old body guard, Thomas Mantel was also known to police.

He was to appear in Surrey Provincial Court Jan. 2, 2013 on charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer.

Those charges stem from an incident in Delta on Oct. 24, 2010.

Mantel was known to escort Dhak to a high security courtroom on the sixth floor of the BC Supreme Courthouse in Vancouver during his trial which began last month.

Dhak would enter the courtroom through a metal detector while Mantel would stay behind.

The busy Burnaby hotel turned into bedlam Monday as the gunfire erupted.

The bodies of the two were covered with white tarps and left at the scene all afternoon as homicide investigators looked for fingerprints, tracked down hotel security video and combed the parking lots adjacent to the hotel looking for the murder weapon.

“It all happened very fast, it was a shocking experience for our staff,” said Joe Ennis, director of hotel services at the Executive Hotel and Conference Centre in the 4200-block Lougheed Highway.

The double shooting occurred at 11:30 a.m.

The lobby doors were blown out with one body lying in the lobby and the other halfway out the door.

Ennis said he was unsure if the pair were hotel guests or visitors. He said no one else was injured in the brazen shooting.
“Everybody is safe and can leave or enter the hotel through different access routes.”

Sgt. Jennifer Pound of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said they believe the two men were targeted by a gunman who quickly left the scene.

Initially police thought the two victims may have shot each other but Pound said it now appears someone else shot them and fled the scene.

Pound would not comment on the identities of the dead men.

“We are still looking into those details,” she said. “All I can say at this point is it appears to be a targeted shooting.”

She also said it was fortunate no one else was hit in the crossfire.

“It was broad daylight, miraculously no one else was hurt. It is crazy.”

Dhak was a high ranking member of the Dhak-Duhre group.

His brother Gurmit Singh Dhak, 32, was brazenly shot dead at Metrotown shopping centre in October 2010.

The Duhres are suspected of involvement in the August 2011 Kelowna casino shooting that killed Abbotsford’s Jonathan Bacon and wounded full-patch Hells Angel Larry Amero, James Riach of the Independent Soldiers gang, and the niece of a high-ranking Hells Angels Haney chapter member.

In September 2011, the Gang Task Force issued a public warning regarding the Duhres and Dhaks, saying anyone associated with them is subject to retaliation.

Gang namesake Sandip “Dip” Duhre, 36, was brazenly gunned down in January at downtown Vancouver’s Sheraton Wall Centre. He is survived by his brothers Balraj and Paul, both in their late ‘30s.

The group had clashed with the Bacons and others while trying to extend their drug-dealing territory in the Fraser Valley and beyond.

Construction worker Doug Wideen was working at the back end of the nearby Cactus Club when he heard the shots.

“There were a dozen shots. It was loud and so fast,” he said.

Wideen didn’t see anyone leaving the scene.

Gordon Shank, 44, lives on the 20th floor of a building adjacent to the Executive Inn. He was in his living room when he heard what he initially believed to be firecrackers.

“I heard three to four bangs, a brief pause, and then three or four more,” the self-employed consultant said. “I thought, ‘How strange, someone is lighting off firecrackers at this time of day.’”

It wasn’t until about five minutes later, when Shank stepped out onto his balcony for a cigarette, that he discovered that it wasn’t firecrackers he had heard.

From his balcony, he could see that the windows of the hotel lobby had been shattered.

 





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