Angus David Mitchell, an alleged gunman linked to three shootings before suffering fatal wounds in a police shootout last week, had detailed plans to target six individuals and six businesses across the Lower Mainland, police say.
A 34-year-old woman killed at a Burnaby sushi restaurant was among Mr. Mitchell’s apparent targets – as was the restaurant itself – leaving five other individuals and businesses police declined to identify on Tuesday.
“Mitchell appears to have spent time gathering information about his intended victims and planning his entry and escape from the locations where he intended to find them,” Inspector Kevin Hackett, officer in charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, told a news conference. “Of one thing we are certain: Had he not been located when we was, the potential for additional loss of life was extreme.”
Investigators have found various maps and other documents related to targets in Mr. Mitchell’s green Ford Aerostar. The former employee with a Victoria security firm had been living in his van after being evicted from his Vancouver apartment. He was spotted by a Maple Ridge woman out walking her dog about an hour after police issued a public warning last Wednesday.
At the time, Mr. Mitchell, 26, was being sought in the deaths of 34-year-old Chinh Huynh and Huong Tran, 36. Both were found shot dead on May 27 in the Royal Oak Sushi House, which appeared, from discovered material, to be among Mr. Mitchell’s apparent priorities.
Mr. Mitchell was shot after he emerged from his vehicle with a weapon in his hand.
Investigators are in the midst of an intense effort to interview witnesses, but are far from drawing any conclusions about Mr. Mitchell’s motives, police said.
Mr. Mitchell’s agenda, they said, dated back to 2009.
Insp. Hackett said it was an unprecedented scenario for the Vancouver region or Canada as a whole. Pressed on details of the targeted businesses, Insp. Hackett would only say it was a “broad cross-section of businesses and locations.” He said specific individuals associated with businesses were targeted along with some “generically listed” businesses.
Sergeant Jennifer Pound, IHIT spokesperson, said Mr. Mitchell appeared intent on his agenda. “It’s not something that was just a passing thought,” she said. “He had a plan, and we know, because we have three victims, that he meant to set out and complete this plan.”
She said Mr. Mitchell appears to have been acting alone. “At this point, we can say he is the only suspect,” she said.
IHIT was provided the documents by the Vancouver Police Department, which seized Mr. Mitchell’s vehicle as part of an investigation into the police shooting.
Mr. Mitchell was also a suspect in the May 30 shooting of his former landlord in Burnaby – a 51-year-old man who has not been identified.
Despite extensive injuries, the landlord provided police with vital information. “The landlord is key in that he came forward with the identity of a suspect,” Sgt. Pound said. “He’s to be commended.”
Insp. Hackett said, responding to a reporter’s question, that there was no apparent racial component to Mr. Mitchell’s agenda.