RCMP, including an ERT team, descended on a building with a home inside it on Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack on Tuesday afternoon. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

UPDATE: RCMP’s Emergency Response Team raid ‘clubhouse’ near Chilliwack homicide scene

Tactical team, robot and flash bangs used to search building, one block from Sunday shooting death

An RCMP team raided a building on Alexander Avenue Tuesday that is known in the neighbourhood as a drug house.

And while Mounties are yet to officially make a connection, the location is less than a block away from where 33-year-old James Vidal was murdered just two days prior.

The RCMP’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) tactical team employed the use of flash bangs and a robot before entering the building as neighbours gathered to watch in the streets.

People who gathered while the RCMP attended to execute a search warrant said the building is known to house criminals.

The building at 45910 Alexander Ave. is more than 18,000 square feet and is a heritage building. It was Chilliwack’s first city hall, the Chilliwack German-Canadian Club, and has been the home of a clothing business and a church over the years. It was sold most recently last May for $945,000 and is listed on BC Assessment as a “clubhouse.”

(See below for more photos.)

It appears that no one was arrested during the raid and after a lengthy search by the ERT. On Wednesday, uniformed officers were still on the scene at both the front and the back parking lot on Railway Avenue.

RELATED: IHIT identify Chilliwack homicide victim as James Vidal

Chilliwack RCMP had little to say about the ERT operation at the Alexander Avenue clubhouse other than to confirm a search warrant was executed as part of an ongoing police investigation.

“The police activity today was specific to the execution of the search warrant,” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail said. “The Chilliwack RCMP are not releasing details relating to the investigation or the execution of the search warrant.”

A block away at the site of the March 10 homicide, a makeshift memorial was created for Vidal where people visited and left flowers, cards and other messages, one on the bed of a metal Tonka Truck.

“RIP brother,” the message said in part. “So hard to consider that you were taken from us so young, so soon…. Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family. We will always be here for them always… like you were for us. Leave no man behind.”

IHIT had no further update on the Vidal killing, but continue to visit www.theprogress.com for more details as they become available.


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jpeters@theprogress.com

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(Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

(Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

45910 Alexander Avenue. (Google Street View)

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