Three men have been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in the brazen shooting outside a Kelowna casino that killed Abbotsford gangster Jonathan Bacon in August 2011.
Jujhur Khun-Khun, 25, Michael Kerry Hunter Jones, 25, and Jason Thomas McBride, 37, have been charged with Bacon's murder and attempted murder in the gang slaying that also wounded four others, the B.C. Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) announced Monday afternoon.
The arrests were the result of an intensive, multi-agency, 18-month investigation titled E-Nitrogen.
Bacon, of the Red Scorpions, died in the shooting that also injured Hells Angel Larry Amero and Independent Soldier James Riach, as well as two women, said CFSEU Chief Superintendent Dan Malo.
Lindsay Black was wounded and Leah Hadden-Watts, the niece of a prominent member of the Hells Angels, was shot and left a paraplegic following the attack.
All five victims were in a white Porsche SUV peppered by bullets from an automatic weapon as it was exiting the Delta Grand Okanagan hotel at around 2:45 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2011.
The shooting was an act so brazen it might have been mistaken for a something out of a bad action movie, said Malo.
"However, for the victims and members of the public who witnessed the events, it was all too real," he said.
The Bacon hit was likely in retaliation for the death of longtime gangster Gurmit Singh Dhak in a targeted shooting at Burnaby's Metrotown Mall in October 2010.
Dhack's death has been a "flash point" for the spiral of gang violence that ensued, said Malo.
"But the Bacon shooting has resulted in a cascade of violence seen in this province over the last 18 months," he added.
Although Bacon, Amero and Riach had history with other crime groups, the trio was also part of a recently formed alliance known as the wolf pack, said Malo.
"All the individuals are well known to policing in B.C.," he said.
Khun-khun, who had strong ties to both the murdered Dhak brothers, recently survived a targeted shooting on Jan. 15 that killed Manjinder Singh Hairan, 29, in Surrey.
All three suspects charged in the Kelowna shooting were arrested without incident after various police agencies executed a warrant on Feb. 22, said Malo.
Khun-Khun was arrested in Surrey, while Jones, from Gibsons, B.C., and McBride, from North Vancouver, were arrested in Vancouver and Toronto, respectively.
Police and the public were appalled by the public nature of the "reckless" act of gang violence, said Malo.
"But if they are determined to commit murder, they will do so, and it doesn't matter who is in the way."