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

UPDATED- More wolf sightings – numerous encounters

Avoid attracting wolves with food sources and keep pets inside

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue explains BBQ blaze fire safety

Outdoor cooking safety needs fires extinguishers ready

Cloak-and-dagger ninja deliveries

Whining kids at home may be creating the need for wining moms at home

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Most Read