VANCOUVER – The homicide rate in British Columbia jumped dramatic Sunday as Mounties around the province scrambled to investigate eight deaths.
The first deaths were reported early Sunday in Hope, B.C., where the bodies of two men were found in a home.
Hours later, police reported two people had been found dead in what they said was suspicious circumstances in Vanderhoof, in central B.C.
In the same hour, Nanaimo Mounties were called to a housing complex where a 35-year-old man was stabbed to death.
In Surrey, there were two separate shootings Sunday night where three men were killed.
One arrest was made involving the Nanaimo stabbing.
Late Monday afternoon, police announced a charge of second-degree murder was laid against Gabriel Stinson, 40.
Police say when an officer attended the scene they found the victim with a knife wound and Stinson performing CPR.
“The Nanaimo RCMP is confident that it was not a random act of violence, but a confrontation that ended tragically,” said a police news release.
RCMP Supt. Brendan Fitzpatrick, in E Division major crimes section, said it was a very busy weekend for police.
“We bring in resources from where we can to deal with these types of situations,” he said. “We’ll move resources around where required.”
Fitzpatrick said it was important to get as many staff as possible to help “front end load” on the investigations, to cover as many areas as possible as they look into the deaths.
“It’s nothing that can’t be handled at this point. We’ll just respond accordingly.”
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is investigating five of the deaths.
The team’s spokeswoman, Sgt. Jennifer Pound, said the shooting of a man in Surrey last night appeared to be aimed at the victim.
“This shooting is a targeted shooting on the victim who is known to police. He has been identified as 27-year-old Surrey resident Manjot Dhillon,” Pound said in a news release.
In the second Surrey shooting, Pound said the bodies of two men were found in an open parkade.
Police said at about the same time the call came into police around 11:30 Sunday night, a Green SUV or pick-up truck was seen leaving the scene erratically.
RCMP in Vanderhoof say the two people found dead in a home were known to police.
The bodies of Tara Williams, 40, and Blain Barfoot, 29, were found inside a residence.
“The RCMP Forensic Identification Unit continues to process the scene as major crime investigators to try to determine what transpired in the residents,” Const. Leslie Smith said in a release.
Mounties have released few details on the two deaths in Hope, only saying more details would be released once the men’s families were notified.