Ripudaman Singh Malik shooting suspects waited for victim: homicide team

Ripudaman Singh Malik, the man who was acquitted in the 1985 Air India bombing, has been shot and killed in Surrey. Kier Junos has the latest from the scene.

Homicide investigators have confirmed the person killed in a shooting in Surrey Thursday was Ripudaman Singh Malik, a man who was acquitted in the 1985 Air India bombing.

In an update Friday, Integrated Homicide Investigation Team Sgt. David Lee noted a motive was not yet clear — but added this is believed to have been targeted.

“To further advance the investigation and identify witnesses, the victim is being identified as 75-year-old Ripudaman Singh Malik,” he said.

“We understand this is a high-profile international story. However, we urge [people]  not to speculate as to the motive as our homicide investigators will be following the evidence.”

Malik was shot in Surrey’s Newton neighbourhood around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. According to the RCMP, officers were called to 128 Street near 82 Avenue for reports that shots had been fired and found the man at the scene.

“I can only confirm he’s been shot several times, but as to the nature of the injuries, I can’t discuss that as this is an ongoing investigation,” Lee explained. “He was shot several times.”

He adds Malik is believed to have been alone in his vehicle at the time of the shooting.

Investigators are now turning their focus to a white Honda CRV, which was found on fire a short distance away, in the area of 82 Avenue and 122a Street, shortly after the shooting.

Lee says video surveillance footage shows the vehicle was in the area of the shooting.

“Review of CCTV determined that this vehicle arrived at a 8236 128 Street a short time before the shooting and waited for Mr. Malik,” he told reporters. “It arrived about 7 a.m. and the occupants were waiting for Mr. Malik.”

Ripudaman Singh Malik Surrey Homicide


“We are asking anyone with dashcam footage or witnesses in the area around 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at 8236 128 Street who may have seen the vehicle or its occupants to contact IHIT,” Lee added.

IHIT is also asking for anyone who may have seen or has dashcam footage from where the vehicle was found burned to get in touch.

There has been mixed reaction within the Sikh community to Malik’s death.

Three men wearing turbans stand in a row, each of them with long beards

FILE – Ripudaman Singh Malik (centre) leaves B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, B.C. with his supporters after he was found not guilty in the bombing of an Air India flight 182 in 1985, Wednesday March 16, 2005. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Richard Lam

Malik was acquitted of mass murder and conspiracy charges in connection with the June 23, 1985, bombing of Air India Flight 182, which claimed the lives of 280 Canadians, including 86 children.

Air India Flight 182 was headed from Toronto to London when a bomb detonated and the plane crashed near Ireland, killing all 329 people on board.

“The judge made clear to Mr. Malik and Mr. (Ajaib Singh) Bagri, the co-accused, that the fact that the Crown and the police had not been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt did not mean that they had not committed the offence,” former B.C. Premier Ujjal Dosanjh, who is a prominent member of the Sikh community, told CityNews on Thursday.

More recently though, Malik was considered by many as a leader in the Surrey Sikh community. He co-founded the Khalsa Credit Union and Khalsa School, and was also involved with other community initiatives.

In response to questions Friday about concerns over potential retaliation in connection with Malik’s death, Lee urged any of the man’s associates who “may feel that there’s any issues or have any concerns” to contact police.

“[Police will] be doing a risk assessment based on information that they provide,” Lee added.

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Lee adds investigators are reaching out to Malik’s associates, though it’s not believed his businesses or associates are connected to his death.

“But we’re still determining that and but we’re following the evidence we’ve acquired at both scenes and that is our starting point right now,” he said.

Victim Services are being offered to Malik’s family and anyone else affected by the shooting.

Lee says investigators have also been in contact with Malik’s family, but would not elaborate.

-With files from Martin MacMahon

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