Just over a week after Kelowna was shaken by a brazen gangland slaying, local Mounties thwarted a potentially violent act by a member of a known criminal organization.
The episode played out at around 2:30 Wednesday morning, when police were called to deal with a man causing a disturbance on Bernard Avenue, between Doc Willoughby’s and the Royal Anne Hotel.
Once there, police were told by witnesses that the man—since identified as Edmonton gang member Grant Victor David Lewis, 29, had allegedly been standing on the sidewalk with what appeared to be a handgun in his pants pocket and his shirt pulled up over the lower half of his face, seemingly waiting for a confrontation.
“The (man) stated he was waiting for someone to come out of a bar,” said Staff Sgt. Terry McLachlan.
“(He) had been involved in an altercation with some other patrons inside earlier.”
Witnesses said the man departed in a white SUV, but RCMP members soon found it parked across the street and the man was located.
Lewis, 29, was taken into custody and a loaded .45 calibre handgun was seized from the SUV.
By Wednesday afternoon, he was in court for charges of possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose, possessing a prohibited/restricted firearm with ammunition, possessing a firearm contrary to an order, occupying a vehicle in which there is firearm and knowingly possessing a prohibited weapon without licence. He’s still in custody and will appear back in court Aug. 26.
McLachlan said Lewis is affiliated to an organized crime group, which, although not identified, is likely to be unfamiliar to those outside Edmonton. There is an existing warrant for Lewis there.
Since the Wednesday morning press release, people speculated the incident could have ties to the Aug. 14 daylight murder of B.C. gangster Jonathan Bacon.
That type of thinking, said Const. Steve Holmes, would be mistaken.
“There’s no indication that this is in any way involved with last week’s incident,” Holmes said.
“If you go into past years, it’s not that uncommon to be dealing with offences like this in Kelowna, in the summer.”
Last weekend’s shooting, however, is beyond the pale, Holmes conceded, adding there’s been no arrests made in that case.
Since then, however, arrangements for the former head of the Red Scorpion gang moved ahead, according to another Black Press paper.
A private viewing of slain Abbotsford gangster Jonathan Bacon was held Friday afternoon at Henderson’s Funeral Home in Langley. It was announced discretely, and there were about 30 friends and family in attendance. The funeral home’s management said it has received no information about a funeral for Bacon, and suggested the family may conduct a private ceremony. It also would not confirm reports Bacon’s body has been cremated.
Few details of the other four victims in last week’s shooting have come to light, although passenger Leah Hadden-Watt, 21, was left paralyzed after a bullet went through the Porsche Cayenne she shared with Bacon and the others, and shattered a vertebra. Her friend incurred non-life threatening injuries, while Hells Angel Larry Amero was left in critical condition. Independent Soldier member James Riach, who was also in the car, fled the scene.