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"Brazen" gang killing not unusual: Kim Bolan

The recent shooting death at Seventh and Ash on Sunday has shaken the area of Fairview Slopes. The victim, 29-year-old Axel Curtis, was a member of the United Nations gang. 

Many residents of the area were shocked by the brazen nature of the targeted hit: Curtis was shot six times in the chest at close range in plain daylight, just one block away from the police station and City Hall. 

"Sure, it is brazen, but these guys don't care," said Kim Bolan, the veteran crime reporter for the Vancouver Sun.

"It was brazen to shoot a car full of people in the middle of the afternoon in the parking lot of a luxury Kelowna hotel. It was brazen to shoot a guy in the Oakridge Mall parade at 2 p.m. in 2007. These shootings are ridiculous, and the public is concerned. But those doing the killing believe they can put on a ski mask and get away with murder."

Although prominent gang-related killings have tended to focus on Abbotsford and Surrey, Bolan said that the latest shooting in the heart of Fairview Slopes doesn't indicate that gang crime is coming closer to Vancouver. 

"It would be wrong to suggest that now there is more gang violence in one city over another," she said. "This is a regional problem. These gangsters don't respect municipal boundaries."

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