One dead in Christmas Day shooting

One man is dead following a targeted hit in North Vancouver on Christmas Day.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is now asking for the public’s help in finding the killer of Rock Habib-Joumaa.

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Shortly before 8:15 p.m., 911 calls came in reporting shots fired in the underground parkade of the Compass building in the Seylynn towers on Mountain Highway. Police and paramedics arrived and found Habib-Joumaa, 25, inside the parkade with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police put the building into lockdown for two hours while they investigated and the parkade remained closed on Wednesday while police collect forensic evidence. Investigators however have not yet released many more details of what happened.

According to IHIT spokesman Cpl. David Lee, investigators have collected “a lot” of surveillance video from the area, which is still being reviewed. Police will say they are looking for two “persons of interest” who were seen nearby, dressed all in black.

“This shooting violated the tranquility of the holidays. There are people out there who knew of Mr. Habib-Joumaa’s activities or have seen the two persons of interest,” Lee said. “We ask anyone with information, or video in the area of 600 block of Seylynn Crescent, to contact IHIT immediately.”

According to witnesses, a young woman was also shot but survived though Lee could not confirm that.

Habib-Joumaa had no criminal record but he was on the radar of local law enforcement.

“He has several contacts with police throughout the Lower Mainland with the RCMP and municipal agencies. He is known to us,” Lee said. “Because he is known to us and the type of contact we’ve seen so far, we believe it was targeted.”

Lee said Habib-Joumaa neither owned nor rented a unit in the building but he was “associated” with a person who lives there.

This is the second murder to occur within the same development. On Dec. 22, 2017, gang associate Gavinder Grewal was shot and killed in his rented penthouse in the neighbouring tower on the property.

“At this time, we don’t believe there are any connections to the previous hit but it’s still early on in the investigation so we have a lot of information to go through,” Lee said.

The building’s parkade is secured with a locked gate that requires a key fob to enter, Lee said.

“It is targeted so we don’t believe there is any additional risk to the residents of the building, he said. ““Residents should be aware who they’re letting in. If people are coming in through the gates or the front door, they should be stopping them and challenging them.”

Lee said they do not believe there were any direct witnesses nearby at the time of the shooting and there was no one in danger of being hit by stray gunfire

“If there were, they have yet to approach us. We have reached out to the residents there and we have canvassed the area. Not to our knowledge was anyone else there but if there was, we ask them to come forward and we can ascertain their involvement.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448), or email ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

 

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