Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Two teenage boys have been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the Aug. 16 stabbing death of Paul Prestbakmo in a South Surrey parking lot.

READ MORE: 45-year-old ID’ed as victim of South Surrey stabbing

Integrated Homicide Investigation Team officials announced the charges – against a 15- and 16-year-old – at a press conference this afternoon (Thursday) at the Surrey RCMP detachment.

Both teens have been in custody since Aug. 22, for breaching court-imposed conditions on a separate matter, IHIT spokesman Sgt. Frank Jang told media.

At the press conference, Jang said the murder – which police describe as an unprovoked attack – was not related to gang violence. He described the age of the two charged as “troubling.”

“It’s shocking. Fortunately, we don’t hear about young people charged with these kinds of offences every day. But certainly when you hear about that, especially in our community, it’s very shocking,” Jang said.

Jang said police believe Prestbakmo and the two youths knew each other “to some degree,” as Prestbakmo was a well-known member of the South Surrey and Semiahmoo First Nation community. He said police do not believe that it was a stranger-on-stranger attack.

“Paul Prestbakmo, 45 years old, worked as a mechanic…” Jang said. “My understanding is that he was, in those early hours, taking out the garbage and went for a smoke. Then, he was subsequently murdered. It’s a tragic case.”

Due to their age, Jang said there is little information police can share about the two accused.

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Elenore Sturko said RCMP has increased its presence in the South Surrey area to “help restore the community’s feelings of safety.”

She, along with Jang, credited the development in the case to witnesses who came forward following an appeal by police and Prestbakmo’s family.

READ MORE: ‘Do the right thing,’ implores sister of South Surrey stabbing victim

“Coming and bringing information to investigators can not only help solve a crime today, but can prevent one tomorrow,” Sturko said.

Prestbakmo, 45, died in a parking lot at the southwest corner of 18 Avenue and 152 Street. Police flooded the area after receiving reports of a man found bleeding just before 3:30 a.m. Officers found Prestbakmo “unresponsive with serious injuries.”

In a statement released Thursday, Jang said the charges would not have been possible without the “tireless efforts” of IHIT investigators “to secure and compile evidence for charge approval.”

“A violent incident like this has significant impacts on both the victim’s family and the surrounding community, as their sense of safety is upended,” Sturko added in a news release.

“It is our sincere hope that the quick conclusion to this investigation will bring a measure of comfort to both Mr. Prestbakmo’s family and to the South Surrey community.”



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Paul Prestbakmo died early Aug. 16, following an early-morning stabbing in South Surrey. (Facebook photo)

Just Posted

RDKB issues evacuation alert for 1,100 Boundary properties

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

RDKB launches survey to address housing needs in the district

Communities in the district include Trail, Grand Forks, Rossland and Fruitvale

Possible Kermode Bear spotted near Castlegar

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run on May 27

Stolen truck found in Christina Lake

Family happy the vehicle was found

Two more Johnson Flats properties given evacuation alerts

Forecast graphs for Boundary rivers show another spike for week of June 1

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Most Read