Bolsa shooting was reprisal for death of friend, officer told

Article originally appeared in: Calgary Herald
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[The Accused] told undercover police officers, with whom he had been dealing for a couple of months, that he and two other men went to Bolsa Restaurant on New Year's Day 2009 and killed three people.

Det. Rey Bangloy testified on Wednesday that [The Accused], on trial for three counts of first-degree murder, told him during a covert operation in May 2009 at a Vancouver hotel room that he "went in and did the Paki."

He said he was told the bullets went through the victim's body armour.

Court heard previously that Sanjeev Mann, 23, the target of the bloody New Year's Day attack, was wearing a bulletproof vest when he was killed.

The detective said [The Accused] believed that police were onto him because he had received a phone call from his roommate, Ken Steadman, who advised him police had come to talk to him.

Bangloy said [The Accused], 28, told him that he would be identified by his nickname, Chinaman, and people at Calgary Remand Centre would also know him by the name.

"He said the guys in the restaurant were FK," Bangloy told Crown prosecutor Susan Karpa. "He was 403 (Soldiers) who went with FOB to Bolsa."

Mann, an FK member, and FK associate Aaron Bendle, 21, were shot dead inside the restaurant. Bystander Keni S'usa, 43, was chased down and killed by a third gunman in the parking lot after he fled.

"He said the Paki kept coming to his house to see his parents," Bangloy testified. "He said people say he was a bystander, but he was a drug dealer in Western Canada. . . . He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Bangloy said [The Accused] told him he burned all his clothes in a park after the shooting, which was "big news."

The detective asked [The Accused] if he had seen the other two men since and he said [The Accused] replied that he had seen them a couple of times and everything was good.

Bangloy said [The Accused] believed nobody would know it was him because he was wearing his Freddy Kruger mask, which Bangloy said he took to mean a balaclava.

"He started talking about the Centre Street shooting with Roger Chin, who was his best friend," Bangloy said. "He said Roger was going to see him when he was shot."

Chin, a high-ranking FOB member, was murdered on July 5, 2008 - six months before the Bolsa shootings - and although it has not been solved, court has heard the FOBs believed Mann had killed him.

Bangloy said [The Accused] told him, alluding to the Bolsa shootings, "nothing was planned. It was manslaughter and he'd do his five years."

[The Accused] also said he never got paid, but "I did it for myself."

The detective said [The Accused] told him he covered his tracks and tried to get rid of everything. He said he was told [The Accused] burned all his clothes used in the shooting later the same day.

Earlier, Bangloy said [The Accused] was eager to participate in the kidnapping, threatening and beating of an undercover police officer who purportedly owed money to the fictitious criminal organization [The Accused] had joined.

In fact, Bangloy said [The Accused] helped dig a grave for the debtor, played by Const. Masales, and offered to chop off one of his fingers with a knife and chop off his arms with an axe.

"He was excited to be part of it," Bangloy testified, alluding to the scenario on the West Coast during the covert operation.

"I said Masales owed us a lot of money, so we're not going to kill him."

Bangloy said [The Accused] even offered to put a bullet in Masales's head, "soldier style."

However, Bangloy told [The Accused] his job was to watch for police as they took Masales to the site of the grave, just outside Chilliwack, B.C. Two other undercover officers gave the man a mock beating on the way and the officer/victim was screaming and pleading for his life.

"It's one thing to tell a story, but seeing is believing and he has to be shown," Bangloy said. "It was all acting. Masales did a great job of screaming and show us he was hurt."

[The Accused] was arrested a few weeks later, after several more scenarios with undercover officers.

Two men have already been convicted of three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the Bolsa massacre.

Nathan Zuccherato, 25, and Michael Roberto, 28, were sentenced last October to life with no chance of parole for 25 years.

The trial before Court of Queen's Bench Justice Glen Poelman and jury continues.