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Vancouver city supervisor shot, killed

Security increased at city hall, work sites
Police officers guard Vancouver city hall on Wednesday. The public works yards were also shut down for security reasons.

A Vancouver city sanitation superintendent was shot and killed in Burnaby on Wednesday, triggering an extraordinary police presence at city hall and a number of city work sites.

Burnaby RCMP found a critically injured man at a house on Wickham Place, a residential cul-de-sac, after they received a report around noon about multiple gunshots being fired. The man died a short time later in hospital.

Shortly after, Vancouver city administration sent a number of sanitation and engineering crews home after it said a “very serious incident” had happened that involved threats to at least one city staff member.

The victim is believed to be Hanif Jessa, a Vancouver city employee, and sources told the Sun that the suspect is a former city employee. A Vancouver City staff directory lists Jessa as a night superintendent for street cleaning operations. Calls to his home went straight to a voice mailbox that was full.

Jessa is listed as living on Wickham Place.

RCMP and Vancouver police released few details other than to say the shooting had been turned over to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

Randy Fincham, a Vancouver police spokesman said the police reaction at city hall and its works yards involved a threat against a city employee.

“The police do not believe that there is a risk to the … public at this time,” Fincham said.

Meanwhile, the RCMP said the shooting in Burnaby was not believed to be a random act.

Almost immediately after the shooting took place, the city sent home its afternoon sanitation and some engineering crews and shut down its Manitoba Street works yard. Police vehicles blocked the front gates to the yard into the evening.

Heavily armed Vancouver police officers also moved in to guard City Hall. Doors were closed to visitors and patrol cars and unmarked police vehicles were stationed outside.

Meanwhile in Burnaby, police tape blocked off a wide area surrounding the home where the victim was found.

Lynda Kingsley, a neighbour, said she was more annoyed than anything when she heard sounds that she later learned had been a shooting. She said some men were yelling, then there was a “pop,” then more yelling and another “pop, pop.”

Kingsley thought at the time it was rambunctious teenagers making noise and was going to yell at them to cut it out. After learning what happened, she’s glad she didn’t.

Kingsley, who has lived in the neighbourhood for all of her 42 years, said the area is normally very quiet, though she noted there has been a couple of robberies in the past few years.

“And now a murder. It’s kind of scary,” said Kingsley, the mother of two young boys.

Though her home is not far from the cul-de-sac where the shooting happened, they are not easily linked by road, so she did not know the residents there. But she said the cul-de-sac is also normally a quiet area.

Police would not say whether they had identified or caught the shooter.

Shortly before 6 p.m., Mayor Gregor Robertson issued a statement saying a serious incident had taken place and that the matter was under investigation by the RCMP. Burnaby is served by the RCMP, Vancouver by its own police force.

Rena Kendall-Craden, the city’s director of communications, said city hall was not evacuated and was not on lockdown. However, she said there may be a minor disruption to some garbage and recycling services over the next day or two.

“We’re just in a holding pattern while we wait get an update from the police and RCMP,” she said.