BURNABY, BC (Canadian OH&S News)
Police in British Columbia continue to investigate the double homicide of two people found inside a sushi restaurant in a Vancouver suburb.
At about 9:30 pm on May 27, members of the Burnaby RCMP detachment responded to a 911 call at the Royal Oak Sushi House in Burnaby after a passerby called to report a person lying on the ground inside the business, says Sergeant Jennifer Pound, a media relations officer with the BC RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigations Team (IHIT). Upon arrival, police found two people inside the workplace, both of whom were “associated” with the restaurant. (Media reports suggest one of the victims was the owner of the restaurant).
“We can say that both victims are not known to police and an investigative priority is to determine the motive for this cold and callous killing,” Sergeant Pound says, adding that one victim has been identified as 36-year-old Huong Tran.
IHIT and Burnaby RCMP are canvassing the area to speak with potential witnesses and locate any evidence.
Three days after the double homicide, police identified a “person of interest” in the incident. Angus Mitchell, 26, is believed to be armed with a Mossberg Maverick high-powered rifle with a scope and living out of his Ford Aerostar van, says Inspector Tim Shields, assistant operations officer with the Burnaby RCMP detachment, in a statement.
“Anyone who knows Mitchell and has had a conflict with him in the past needs to be extremely cautious about their personal safety,” Shields warns. “This would include former co-workers, employers, landlords, roommates or anyone else who Mitchell has had a conflict with at any time in the past.”
On May 30, Mitchell became involved in a shootout with police, and was pronounced dead shortly after 1 pm, the police statement says, adding that no RCMP officers were injured.
A former security guard, Mitchell was also wanted in connection with the attempted murder of a 51-year-old man who was shot in front of his home in Burnaby. The man, a former landlord of Mitchell, survived the shooting, but remains in hospital in serious condition.
Donna Freeman, director of media relations with WorkSafeBC says that the key issue for her organization is whether the incident occurred in and out of the course of employment.
“This is a criminal investigation at this time,” she says. “A WorkSafeBC officer will liaise with the police at some point to determine if this was in fact a workplace incident as well and we will determine at that time if it is appropriate for us to investigate depending on the circumstances.”
Argument between co-workers spurs stabbing
The incident comes about a year-and-a-half after another violent incident inside a sushi restaurant, this time in downtown Toronto. Just after 11 pm on November 7, 2009, two employees of the New Generation Sushi restaurant became involved in a seemingly mild argument, which ended when one worker fatally stabbing the other in the chest with a “sharp-edged item” (COHSN November 16, 2009).
A verbal dispute began in the main section of the restaurant, which escalated as the two workers, who acted as both waiters and chefs, made their way into the restaurant’s kitchen, Detective Sergeant Terry Browne of the Toronto Police Service’s homicide squad said at the time.
A 25-year-old worker was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 27-year-old co-worker, both of whom were Chinese nationals.