Mounties look into eight deaths in B.C., all reported on Sunday

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The homicide rate in British Columbia jumped dramatic Sunday as Mounties around the province scrambled to investigate eight deaths.

The first deaths were reported early Sunday in Hope, B.C., where the bodies of two men were found in a home.

Hours later, police reported two people had been found dead in what they said were suspicious circumstances in Vanderhoof, in central B.C.

In the same hour, Nanaimo Mounties were called to a housing complex where a man was stabbed to death.

In Surrey, there were two separate shootings Sunday night, and three men were killed.

Only one arrest has been made involving the Nanaimo stabbing.

Investigators say a suspect was picked up shortly after the stabbing and would appear in a Nanaimo court today.

RCMP Supt. Brendan Fitzpatrick, in E Division major crimes section, said it was a very busy weekend for police.

"We bring in resources from where we can to deal with these types of situations," he said. "We'll move resources around where required."

Fitzpatrick said it was important to get as many staff as possible to help "front-end load" on the investigations, to cover as many areas as possible as they look into the deaths.

"It's nothing that can't be handled at this point. We'll just respond accordingly."

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is investigating five of the deaths.

The team's spokeswoman, Sgt. Jennifer Pound, said the shooting in Surrey last night of a man who is known to police appeared to be targeted.

"He has been identified as 27-year-old Surrey resident Manjot Dhillon," Pound said in a news release.

In the second Surrey shooting, Pound said the bodies of two men were found in an open parkade.

Police said at about the same time the call came into police around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, a Green SUV or pick-up truck was seen leaving the scene erratically.

RCMP in Vanderhoof say the two people, Tara Williams, 40, and Blain Barfoot, 29, were found dead in a home were known to police.

"The RCMP Forensic Identification Unit continues to process the scene as major crime investigators to try to determine what transpired in the residents," Const. Leslie Smith said in a release.

Mounties have released few details on the two deaths in Hope, only saying more details would be released once the men's families were notified.