Two men charged with murder in 2009 shooting near Vancouver halfway house

Published: June 23, 2014

Gang members shot, killed or charged in recent months for Kim Bolan story. Raj Soomel was shot but not killed in Vancouver at his house. Submitted photo.

KIM BOLAN
POSTMEDIA NEWS

Two men have been charged in a 2009 Vancouver murder in which the victim was mistaken for another gangster living in the same halfway house.

Vancouver police confirmed Monday that Kevin James Jones, 36, and Colin Victor Stewart, 33, were arrested and charged Friday night with first-degree murder for the Sept. 29, 2009 murder of Rajinder Singh Soomel.

Both have been remanded in custody.

Insp. Laurence Rankin confirmed that the killers were targeting Independent Soldiers founder Randy Naicker, but got the wrong man.

“Investigators with the VPD Homicide Unit determined that Raj Soomel fell victim to a gang-related shooting gone wrong,” Rankin said. “Mr. Soomel was not the intended victim and was in the wrong place at the wrong time when gunmen came looking for another target.”

Rankin also confirmed that the Naicker was warned by police about the death threats against him.

“VPD investigators did speak with and inform Mr. Naicker that his life could still be in danger. He would later be murdered on June 25, 2012, in Port Moody. That homicide remains under investigation by the Vancouver Police Department,” Rankin said.

He would not comment on whether Jones and Stewart are alleged to have been hired by someone else or if the pair is suspected in Naicker’s murder.

“We believe it¹s gang-related, but beyond that I am not about to say,” Rankin said. “I am not about to disclose that because the matter is still under investigation.”

Soomel, 35, was living in a halfway house near Cambie and 21st when two masked killers arrived looking for Naicker, who had been paroled to the same residence five days earlier.

A halfway house worker ­— who was pistol-whipped by the assailants — had mistakenly written in a logbook that Naicker had gone to a nearby corner store, when in fact it was Soomel who left the facility that evening.

The killers found the man they believed was their target as he crossed Cambie at 19th. Soomel was shot to death in the middle of the street.

Both Jones and Stewart have histories with police, according to the online court database.

Jones was convicted in Vancouver for a 1997 incident in which he uttered death threats. He got two years’ probation and a five-year firearms ban.

He also pleaded guilty in 1999 to a sexual assault and robbery with a firearm for a violent home invasion on Saltspring Island the previous December. He was sentenced to 15 years.

During the invasion, he and an accomplice wore police jackets and claimed to be executing a search warrant. After Jones raped a woman in the house, he told her the neighbourhood belonged to the Hells Angels.

Stewart was convicted of trafficking in Burnaby in 2002. He got a fine and probation.

While Soomel was killed by mistake, his criminal history was also gang-related.

He was convicted for plotting to kill a witness who testified against his younger brother Robbie in a 2000 gangland slaying.

The elder Soomel told an undercover cop that he wanted to kill Hardip Singh Uppal for putting his brother behind bars in one murder and implicating him in several others, including the 1998 assassination of journalist Tara Singh Hayer.

Mounties investigating the Hayer murder posed as underworld criminals who befriended Raj Soomel in an attempt to get information about the journalist’s still unsolved death.

Instead, Soomel hired the cops to kill Uppal, saying in a taped conversation that he hated rats and that “every dog has his day.”

In March 2008, he pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to four years. He was paroled just weeks before he was shot to death.

Soomel also survived a September 2000 shooting at his family’s south Vancouver home.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

prakash2

Indian news channel hires country’s first transgender anchor

VANCOUVER DESI A 31-year-old transgender woman in India has become the country’s first-ever transgender person to read the news on live television, according to the…
Continue Reading »

notinmyname1

Young Muslims in Britain speak out against ISIS with social media campaign

VANCOUVER DESI Muslims in Britain are speaking out against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with a social media campaign to raise awareness…
Continue Reading »

ER_-_BIBI_ESCORT_2_218008286

Deported Saskatoon woman in hiding in Pakistan, friend says

CHARLES HAMILTON and EVAN RADFORD POSTMEDIA NEWS and THE CANADIAN PRESS Jamila Bibi, the refugee claimant deported this week from Saskatoon, is now in hiding in Pakistan,…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Maternal health in, climate change out: A look at Canada’s changing UN speeches

By Alexander Panetta THE CANADIAN PRESS UNITED NATIONS — A scan of Canadian speeches at the United Nations General Assembly reveals a shift in priorities…
Continue Reading »

ER_-_BIBI_ESCORT_2_218008286

Deported Saskatoon woman in hiding in Pakistan, friend says

CHARLES HAMILTON and EVAN RADFORD POSTMEDIA NEWS and THE CANADIAN PRESS Jamila Bibi, the refugee claimant deported this week from Saskatoon, is now in hiding in Pakistan,…
Continue Reading »

10223486

Back-to-school excitement finally comes for a half-million B.C. students

CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI For Kassidy Ryan, the first day of school couldn’t come soon enough. Kassidy is one of about a half-million B.C. students…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Larissa Cahute

Video: Vancouver Desi reporter gets a ‘desi’ makeover

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi reporter Larissa Cahute gets a taste of the hectic life backstage at Vancouver Fashion Week as she gets done up in…
Continue Reading »

banned-desi

Surrey’s Punjabi radio stations facing CRTC ban

TERESA VERENCA SURREY NOW SURREY — Two radio stations operating out of Surrey could be slapped with mandatory cease-and-desist orders come October. According to the…
Continue Reading »

DEPORTED-PAKISTAN

Rally held in Saskatoon in support of 65-year-old woman deported to Pakistan

THE CANADIAN PRESS SASKATOON — Supporters of a 65-year-old woman who was deported to her native Pakistan earlier this week have held a rally at…
Continue Reading »

Designers-entertainment

Fashion over the years in Bollywood

IMROZ MAUR VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood and Fashion go hand in hand; there is no Bollywood without fashion and there is no fashion without Bollywood. They…
Continue Reading »

Little India

Death of a neighbourhood? Little India’s Punjabi Market struggles to survive

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI When Simran and Hardeep Virk met 20 years ago at Langara College, they’d go to All India Sweets & Restaurant for…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Indian film star Vivek Oberoi walks with his wife Priyanka Alva Oberoi on the green carpet as they arrive for 15th annual International Indian Film Awards Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Why did Vivek Oberoi refuse a role on American series Homeland?

HINDUSTAN TIMES While Bollywood actors often jump at the opportunity to collaborate on international projects, Vivek Oberoi wasn’t quite so fortunate. Although the actor was…
Continue Reading »

Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is one of the members in Sanjay Gupta's upcoming star-studded movie Jazbaa. Aishwarya poses here at the amfAR 21st Annual Cinema Against AIDS during the 67th Cannes Film Festival in southern Franc on May 22, 2014. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

Sanjay Gupta to add more stars to upcoming Bollywood film Jazbaa’s cast

IANS Mumbai  – Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta is excited about the way his next project Jazbaa, starring Aishwarya Rai, Irrfan Khan and Anupam Kher, is shaping…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood film actress Priyanka Chopra poses during a promotional event of the Tata Salt 'Maine Desh ka Namak Khaya Hai' campaign, which features the story of boxer Mary Kom, and the promotion of the film 'Mary Kom' in Mumbai on September 10, 2014. AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images

Priyanka Chopra accepts Hrithik Roshan’s dare, performs handstand in heels

IANS Mumbai — Priyanka Chopra accepted and performed a handstand with a push up – a dare thrown at her by Hrithik Roshan. “The only…
Continue Reading »