Top 5 of 2017: Langley sees a spike in the murder rate

Five people were killed in Langley in 2017, three in targeted killings linked to gangs.

Langley suffered five murders in 2017, giving the community a murder rate higher than either Vancouver or Surrey, but lower than neighbouring Abbotsford.

The murder victims this year were:

• Tyrell Michael Sinnott, 20, shot dead April 1 in the parking lot of the Sandman Inn & Suites in Willoughby.

• Tyler Pastuck, 31, shot to death June 9 outside of Brown’s Social House on 62nd Avenue in Langley City.

• Brandy Petrie, a 34-year-old Burnaby woman, and Avery Levely-Flescher, a 20-year-old Surrey man, shot to death Sept. 1 in a Jeep near 232nd Street and 64th Avenue.

• Dai Duong Duong, 21, found shot to death Dec. 7 in the back yard of a Willoughby townhouse.

Only one person has been charged in any of the killings. Travis MacPhail, a 21-year-old Langley man, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of a Petrie and Levely-Flescher.

He has also been charged with possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon, uttering threats, and aggravated sexual assault, which police said was related to a different victim and unrelated to the killings.

There have been no charges in the other killings.

The other three murders all shared some similarities. All were of relatively young men. All were deemed to be targeted killings by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. In all three cases, the victim was known to police or had a criminal record prior to their death.

2017 Murder Rates:

• Langley: 3.49 murders per 100,000 people (five murders)

• Langley City: 3.86 murders per 100,000 people (one murder)

• Langley Township: 3.41 murders per 100,000 people (four murders)

• Vancouver: 3.01 murders per 100,000 people (19 murders)

• Surrey: 1.93 murders per 100,000 people (10 murders)

• Abbotsford: 6.3 murders per 100,000 people (nine murders)

Langley also saw convictions for a few previous murders in 2017, including in the killing of a Hells Angel gang member, Robert Keith Green, in October of 2016.

His killer, Jason Francis Wallace, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2017 and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Police also announced that another 2016 killing, that of dismembered gang member Shaun Allen Clary, found on Robertson Crescent a week after Green’s killing, was thought to be linked to the Green slaying.

In addition, three young men pleaded guilty to the second degree murder of Nicholas Hannon. Brad Flaherty, Keith Tankard, and Connor Campbell were sentenced to life, with no chance of parole for at least 18 years.

Hannon was 19 and disappeared in late February of 2014. The three killers had known the family for years and were all former friends of Hannon, and had even been coached in hockey by Hannon’s father Craig.

WHAT’S NEXT?

• Travis MacPhail is expected to go on trial for the murders of Petrie and Levely-Flescher.

• IHIT is continuing to investigate the other killings.

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