UPDATE: Brother of teen killed by stray bullet in Vancouver says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down while on his way home from dinner with his family

The brother of a 15-year-old boy who was killed by gunfire when his family’s vehicle passed a brazen shooting in Vancouver says they are still in shock and the death will leave a void in their hearts.

Wilfred Wong spoke about his younger brother, Alfred Wong, at a news conference Monday at the Vancouver police headquarters, telling reporters everything is still “raw” for him and his parents.

“We’re all still in shock that something like this could happen to us,” he said. “The 15 years that we had with Alfred were far too short, but we know that Alfred is now in heaven with God.

“My parents and I will always love him dearly and his death will leave a void in our hearts. But the years that he had with us will impact our family forever.”

READ MORE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

Vancouver police have said the boy was heading home to Coquitlam with his parents on Jan. 13 when shots were fired between at least two people. At least one bullet penetrated the vehicle, striking Wong, who died in hospital two days later.

Police said the target of the attack was 23-year-old Kevin Whiteside, who was known to police and also died in hospital.

Chief Const. Adam Palmer said the department deals with criminal activity every day and there are often tragic consequences, but having to deal with the death of an innocent boy has been difficult for everyone.

“Alfred’s senseless murder has rocked our community. It’s had an impact on the citizens of Vancouver, people throughout Metro Vancouver and our police department,” he said.

He said at least 50 officers are working on the case and the team has used specialized investigative techniques, including setting up a mobile command at the scene last Thursday to make it easier for people to come forward.

Palmer said he was not in a position to discuss any potential suspects or say what gun allegedly fired the bullet that killed Wong.

“I’ve stated before publicly that Kevin Whiteside was armed, and I know the answer to that question, as to who fired the bullet, but I’m not prepared to share that with you right now. We’re treating that as holdback evidence,” Palmer said.

He said the current cycle of gang violence in Vancouver hasn’t been seen in about 10 years. Several groups are at odds over drugs and killing one another, he said, though he declined to name the groups.

Officers have “a very good idea” of what happened the night Wong was killed after speaking to many witnesses and retrieving a significant amount of video, but police are still asking anyone with information to come forward, Palmer said.

“Although we’ve made a lot of progress, we still have a long road ahead of us as we work to solve the murders of Alfred Wong and Kevin Whiteside.”

Wilfred Wong said he was grateful to the officers who were with the family for the first few nights after the shooting, as well as the doctors and nurses at Vancouver General Hospital.

“Everyone gave their best and we’re very thankful for that,” he said.

Two scholarships have been set up in Wong’s name, one through Coquitlam School District 43 and the other through the Hyack Swim Club, where he was a member.

Wong was a bright young man who excelled at his studies, said Caleb Choi, a pastor at the Coquitlam Christ Church of China, where the family are congregants.

“He was enrolled in many of the honours classes at Pinetree Secondary School and was passionate about every course he took,” said Choi.

Outside of school, he participated in martial arts, basketball and swimming, and had already completed many of the requirements to become a lifeguard, Choi said.

Wong was preparing to join a leadership camp and had planned to pursue a career in electronic engineering, Choi said. In his free time, he loved playing video games with his friends and travelling the world with his family, he added.

“He was very close to his parents and brother and was loved dearly by them,” he said. “Although he was taken from us much, much too soon, he lived his 15 years to the fullest extent.”

A funeral is set for this Saturday at the church.

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Evacuation alert issued for Kamp Road properties as Mount Hicks fire moves west

An evacuation alert has been issued for all properties on Kamp Road,… Continue reading

Fraser Valley fire departments form ‘strike teams’ to combat wildfires

Boston Bar, Chilliwack River Valley and Popkum departments form strike teams to fight wildfires

VIDEO: Child airlifted to hospital after crash in rural Langley

Jaws of life were used to cut off the roof of a car and free its occupants from a two-car accident.

Documentary filmed in Chilliwack nominated in the ‘Wildlife Oscars’

Toad People is the only Canadian film to be nominated in this year’s Panda Wilderness Awards

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

UPDATED: Mother charged in death of 7-year-old daughter makes first court appearance

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

More bus trips coming to Metro Vancouver this fall

TransLink touts improvements when fall service changes take effect Sept. 34

Bear kills off-leash dog in North Vancouver park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

B.C. man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the province.

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Police ID Surrey man killed in fight at McDonald’s

Investigators ask anyone who knew Lakhwinder Singh Bal to speak with police, to help determine timeline ahead of ‘homicide’

Most Read