Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Surrey realtor fatally shot in home invasion

A 42-year-old father of two shot dead trying to stop a break-in at his home late Sunday was described by work colleagues and neighbours as an easygoing, well-liked family man.
Police in Surrey after a fatal shooting Sunday night in the 16500 block of 64th Avenue. A 42-year-old man was shot and killed when he engaged an unknown man who was allegedly attempting to break into his home.

A 42-year-old father of two shot dead trying to stop a break-in at his home late Sunday was described by work colleagues and neighbours as an easygoing, well-liked family man.

“Colin was an individual of incredible character (with a passion) for his family, friends, work and community,” said Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president Jorda Maisey on Monday of Colin Hill, who died during an altercation with the alleged intruder.

“He observed life through a lens of joy and humour and he will be greatly missed by many,” she added of Hill, who is survived by his wife and fellow Sutton realtor Becky Zhou and two children, Mathew and Leah. “He was very professional, just a nice, easy family kind of guy.”

Maisey’s comments were echoed by Hill’s friend and business colleague John Barbisan, a realtor who worked with Hill at Sutton Premier Realty.

“He was hard working, honest, respectful, a good family guy, and a lot of the times when we were chatting it was mostly about family, his kids, my kids, that stuff.

“I’ve been getting calls from a lot of (realtors) wanting to know what’s going on.”

Homicide investigators spent the day at Hill’s Surrey home Monday probing the fatal shooting.

Sgt. Stephanie Ashton of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said the suspect escaped in a stolen vehicle and was arrested in Burnaby after witnesses reported a man with a gun attempting to break into an apartment.

“Though the investigation is in the early stages, it is believed that this homicide was random in nature,” police said. “Mr. Hill and the suspect were not known to each other.”

News of Hill’s murder slowly spread through the residential neighbourhood Monday. As vehicles filed into the driveways of single-family homes, neighbours stopped and chatted about what they had seen and heard.

Tammy Son, who lives a few doors down from the victim’s home, was awake studying at the time the shots were fired.

“I heard sounds, but I didn’t know what it was,” Son said. Because kids in the area sometimes light firecrackers, she assumed it was nothing. It was not until police cars arrived that she realized the sounds she heard were gunshots fired a few doors away.

“It’s kind of shocking to me,” she said.

One of the bullets that was fired punched through the wall of Hill’s home, sailed over his back fence and through the kitchen windowsill of his neighbour Olga, who only gave her first name out of fear.

The bullet left a hole in the outside of Olga’s home. Inside, broken shards of window frame lay scattered on the counter beside her sink and near a potted plant.

Olga said she was outside working on a camper van in her front driveway at the time of the shooting.

“Everybody was outside. It was hot,” she said, standing in her front yard. “If not for this job I was doing here, I would be right there where the bullet went.”

She said she didn’t know the bullet went through the side of her house until an officer came knocking and asked to get a closer look. An officer keeping watch in Hill’s backyard said the bullet had been found.

Olga said she saw Hill often, mostly when he was outside barbecuing, but had never spoken to him. Other residents in the area recognized Hill and many said he was friendly and would wave or say “hello” in passing.

Tyson Edwards, who lives a few doors further away, said the neighbourhood is a great place to live and normally pretty quiet. It had a few car thefts a while back, but no major problems.

A community mailbox is located along the side of Edwards’s home, and the two men ran into one another there from time to time, he said.

“It’s a tragic situation. Just terrible,” said Edwards, standing in his doorway with a pair of children peering out from behind him.

Hill’s home was one of three large houses preserved behind police tape in a small cul-de-sac. The dead-end street is lined by houses on one side and busy 64th Avenue on the other. A pair of boys tossed a football in the street outside, with police cars stationed nearby. Hill’s home was silent, apart from a few officers who remained on the property.

The suspect in the shooting has a long criminal record, police say. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has obtained charge approval for second-degree murder but the suspect’s name will not be released until he appears in court on Tuesday.

Surrey Mounties say they were called at around 11:30 p.m. Sunday to a report of some sort of dispute in the home in the 16500-block of 64th Avenue.

Hill was found in the house and pronounced dead at the scene.

“There is no question that these are the most painful moments that a family can endure,” said Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy. “For the police, they are also the hardest. And while we are confident that we have quickly taken the person responsible for this horrible crime off the streets, I am still angry at the pointless loss of life. This tragic event is not related to recent shooting conflict in our city, and I remind you that if you see something or someone suspicious to please call police.”

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner released a statement saying her “heartfelt sympathies” go out to Hill’s family.

“While there are no words to express my outrage for this senseless loss of life, I am encouraged that a suspect has been arrested by RCMP so quickly and a charge of second-degree murder is pending. Should he be found guilty, I sincerely hope that the courts will see fit to punish him to the full extent of the law for this heinous and senseless crime.”

The shooting came less than 24 hours after a window at a Cob’s bread store was struck by bullets at Fraser Highway and 188th Street just after 2 a.m. on Sunday. Shell casings were found near the scene.

No one was hurt in that shooting, which police believe was a random act and are investigating.