Deadly shooting linked to B. C. gang

Gwendolyn Richards — Calgary Herald
September 7th, 2009

Victim’s brother recovering in hospital

calgarypoliceCalgary police examine the scene of Sunday’s fatal shooting as the victim’s BmW is towed. A female passenger in the vehicle was uninjured and is co-operating with investigators.

Two brothers with ties to a gang war in B. C. were caught in a spray of gunfire in southwest Calgary early Sunday, leaving one dead and the other recovering in a city hospital.

Sources confirmed to the Calgary Herald the man who died was David Tajali, who was once involved in a feud between rival gangs of Iranian origin in B. C.’s Lower Mainland.

The second man, now in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, is Tajali’s younger brother, Niki, who is a known B. C. gangster.

The elder Tajali was once aligned with the North Vancouver Persian Pride gang and later the United Nations, and the younger brother has some of the same affiliations.

David Tajali was also the victim of an attempted murder in November 2006 when he was shot at his Richmond apartment.

But it was the shooting that unfolded around 2:30 a. m. Sunday that took his life, sparking a police investigation that had officers poring over evidence at a crime scene that stretched for several blocks.

Residents reported hearing numerous shots fired on 4th Street at 18th Avenue S. W., sending officers flooding into the neighbourhood.

When police arrived, they found an injured Tajali in the driver’s seat of a black BMW convertible with B. C. plates. He was rushed to hospital by paramedics but died of his injuries, said Duty Insp. Keith Pollock.

The driver’s side window of the BMW was smashed and what appeared to be two bullet holes marked the door. A piece of clothing lay on the ground next to the car.

Homicide unit Staff Sgt. Doug Andrus said the second victim was not in the vehicle when he was shot.

Niki showed up at a local hospital after the shooting, where he remains — not under police guard–and is co-operating with investigators, Andrus said.

“The hospital is aware of the investigation,” Andrus added.

A female passenger inside the BMW was not injured in the shooting. She is also cooperating with police.

Officers cordoned off several blocks of the neighbourhood as part of the investigation.

Evidence markers denoting blood droplets and other items wove a pathway along the sidewalk on 4th Street, down the alley between 18th and 19th avenues and into a small parking lot. There, they also marked a pile of shattered auto glass.

Forensic investigators dusted for fingerprints along a low wall at the edge of the small lot.

Curt Heitmann, who lives in the apartment block overlooking the crime scene, said he was sleeping at the time.

“I woke up because I heard what sounded like fireworks,” he said.

The shots, more than 10, he said, came in two sets and were followed by someone on the street yelling, “I’m just trying to help you.”

With the bars emptying at the time, many called police to report the gunfire, said Pollock.

“We’re talking to a lot of people right now and trying to sort out what was related(to the shooting)and what wasn’t. That could take awhile,” he said.

But police are most interested in speaking with two women spotted talking to a lone man behind a building on the east side of the 1800 block of 4th Street S. W. just before the shooting.

“We believe the lone male will have information in regards to this incident. It’s very important we talk to those two women. . . .” said Andrus. “We want to know what they saw, what they heard, who they talked to.”

He would not say if the man is a witness or suspect, but said the woman are believed to be strictly bystanders in the crime.

Besides talking to witnesses, investigators also canvassed the neighbourhood Sunday to see if there is any surveillance video that may assist them.

It is unclear whether Tajali’s death is a sign the gang war in B. C. has crossed into Alberta or if he somehow became entangled in the feud between the FOB and the UN-linked FOB Killers.

Andrus said investigators have been in touch with B. C. police and Calgary’s own gang unit is assisting.

Sgt. Shinder Kirk of the B. C. Integrated Gang Task Force said over the past few years many gangs in that province have set up shop in Alberta and Ontario or have developed business relationships with gangs in other cities.

“We know that individuals well-known in Metro Vancouver organized crime and gang circles have been known to travel to other provinces where they are just as susceptible to violence,” he said.

Tajali moved to Calgary about a year ago. He had been no stranger to the law in B. C.

His involvement in the ongoing gang war there had seen both him and his brother injured by bullets.

Investigators have speculated he was the target of another shooting in January 2007 –just two months after he was shot–that claimed the life of a man who happened to drive a truck of the same make, model and colour as Tajali.

Kirk Holifield was driving his Dodge Ram truck near Tajali’s residence in Richmond, B. C., when the vehicle was sprayed with bullets and he was hit several times.

The father of a baby girl died a few hours later in hospital.

At the time, sources said the shooting may have been a case of mistaken identity and police confirmed earlier this year Holifield was an innocent victim. The case remains unsolved.

Tajali was busted in a complex dial-a-dope scheme in 2004, but those charges were stayed. Some of his co-accused pleaded guilty in 2006 and one of the gang was sentenced to seven years in jail in November that year–the same day Tajali was shot at his apartment.

A few years earlier, he was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm after he was found swimming in Vancouver’s False Creek with a handgun in a fanny pack around his neck. That same night in October 2003, police had responded to reports of shots fired at a nightclub. In his July 20, 2005, ruling acquitting Tajali, Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Raymond Low said it was clear, considering the time of year, that Tajali was “not swimming as a part of recreation.”

Tajali’s younger brother, Niki, was also involved in the ongoing feud. He was injured in a gunfight in a quiet residential neighbourhood around the same time Holifield was killed. Police said that shootout saw more than 150 shots exchanged between at least six gunmen using automatic weapons in a park frequented by families and dog-walkers.

None of the three victims, including Niki, co-operated with investigators.

Posted by on Sep 7 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Log in |
  • Prison Gangs
  • Other Cities
  • Los Angeles Police Gang Enforcement Initiaitives – 2007
  • SG Music
  • Crips
  • Bloods
  • Asian Gangs
  • Forums
  • Shop
  • Injunctions
  • contact
  • Resources