Burnaby homicide victim identified as man in police warning from April

The man whose body was found in Burnaby Thursday has been identified by homicide investigators.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has confirmed 31-year-old Christopher Irwin was found dead in a vacant lot in the area of Norland Avenue and Laurel Street.

Investigators also note a vehicle, believed to be linked to Irwin’s death, was found on fire in New Westminster around 4:30 a.m. the same day.

The man’s identity is being released with the hopes someone with information may come forward.

Irwin was at the centre of a public warning by the Coquitlam RCMP in April of this year.

At the time, Mounties said Irwin was believed to have been the target of two shootings, noting he was shot on March 25. That incident, in which an innocent bystander was hurt, was believed to be tied to another in Coquitlam last December.

In its warning, the RCMP urged the public to stay away from the man, saying “police want to warn the public that anyone with Irwin or in proximity to Irwin may be putting themselves at great risk, including his own family and friends.”

“We know that gang members travel between jurisdictions and we just want the public to be aware so that they can take the appropriate measures to ensure their safety,” RCMP Const. Deanna Law said on April 5.

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IHIT has not said whether Irwin’s death is linked to gang violence, though investigators believe the fatal incident was targeted.

“We are releasing Mr. Irwin’s name in hopes that witnesses will come forward who can assist us in building a timeline of Mr. Irwin’s whereabouts in the time leading to his death,” Sgt. Timothy Pierotti of IHIT said on July 16.

“Investigators continue to work tirelessly to collect evidence and speak with witnesses. We urge any associates of Mr. Irwin to please come forward.”

Witnesses or anyone who may have been in the area of Norland Avenue near Laurel Street between 3:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Thursday, or who may have been in the area of Fader Street and Braid Street in New Westminster between 3:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. Thursday, is asked to contact IHIT at 1.877.551.4448. You’re also asked to reach out to investigators if you have dashcam footage from either area.

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