Special to the Langley Advance
In gripping silent video footage of the hour before Kevin LeClair was fatally shot, he sits with two friends at the bar of a Walnut Grove restaurant, eating, drinking and chatting.
LeClair, who was gunned down seconds after leaving Brown’s Social House on Feb. 6, 2009, first appears in the surveillance video just after 3 p.m. when he enters wearing a grey hoodie and wearing a man purse.
Prosecutors at the murder trial of accused United Nations gang killer Cory Vallee played the eerie footage Tuesday for B.C. Supreme Court Justice Janice Dillon.
Eight clips from different camera angles show LeClair and his friends taking a seat to the right of a horseshoe-shaped bar, looking at menus and then ordering.
Two other men arrive who know one of LeClair’s companions. He waves at them as they sit down on the opposite side of the bar.
Nothing appears out of the ordinary as customers come and go and staff attend to customers. At one point, LeClair’s friend walks over to talk to the latecomers on the other side of the bar.
Just after 4 p.m., LeClair and one of his friends get up to leave and walk out of the frame of the camera.
Less than a minute later – presumably when the shots rang out – others at the bar jump up and look toward the door. A second video angle of the same time period shows LeClair walking out the front door, as a Brown’s worker touches a computer screen behind the host’s counter.
Seconds later, that worker suddenly looks out the window and others in the restaurant rush over. All of them are peering to the right, but hovering close to the restaurant.
One of LeClair’s friends reappears in the bar video, asks the bartender for a shot and slams it down before leaving.
Crown prosecutor David Jardine said earlier that LeClair’s pickup truck was sprayed by gunfire just after he left the restaurant. The truck ended up on the curb in front of the IGA grocery store in the Thunderbird Village mall just off 200th Street and Highway 1.
The Crown alleges that Vallee was among several UN members hunting LeClair because he had left their gang and joined the rival Red Scorpion gang, teaming up with the notorious Bacon brothers.
Jardine said in opening submissions that Vallee and another UN gangster lay in wait for LeClair that day after seeing his truck turn into the mall.
Vallee is charged with first-degree murder, as well as conspiracy to kill the Bacons and their associates over several months in 2008 and 2009.
Vallee was charged in 2011, but hid in Mexico until police found him there in 2014.
Dillon was shown other video surveillance Tuesday taken from shops in the mall, as well as a nearby apartment building.
In one of the clips, two figures dressed in dark clothing can be seen running through the parking lot.
In other clips, two vehicles, like those the Crown alleges were used by the shooters, can be seen driving rapidly past the stores.
– Kim Bolan is a reporter with the Vancouver Province.
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