The mother of a bystander killed in one of British Columbia’s worst gang shootings says the incident robbed her family of its identity, forcing them to be known forever as victims.
Eileen Mohan told a B.C. Supreme Court judge on Friday that her son Christopher Mohan, 22, was leaving their apartment to play basketball when he was gunned down in the so-called Surrey Six shootings in 2007.
Mohan outlined how the death shattered her family in a victim impact statement during a sentencing hearing for reputed gang leader Jamie Bacon.
“We were on our way to attaining our dream careers and titles,” Mohan told the court.
“Because of Jamie Bacon, my beautiful son Christopher is known as the victim and I am known as the victim’s mother.”
Bacon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to murder Corey Lal in the case that also resulted in the deaths of five others at a highrise apartment building in Surrey.
Court heard in an agreed statement of facts that the murders were carried out to advance the drug trafficking business of a criminal gang known as the Red Scorpions.
In 2014, two men were convicted of six counts of first-degree murder in the case.
Police have said four of the victims were targeted but Mohan, who lived on the floor where the killings occurred, and Ed Schellenberg, a maintenance worker, were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Bacon, 35, has also pleaded guilty to one count of counselling to commit murder in a separate case involving the shooting of a man who survived an attack on Dec. 31, 2008.
Crown and defence lawyers submitted a joint sentencing recommendation in advance of the hearing that includes 18 years for conspiracy to murder and 10 years for counselling to commit murder to be served concurrently.
Bacon’s lawyer has said if the sentencing submission is accepted, his client is looking at an additional five to six years in prison after time served is taken into account.
Mohan said outside court that she has been waiting 13 years to describe to Bacon the impact of the shootings.
“I’ve waited all these years to say what I really wanted to say to him,” she said.
“I wanted to look at Mr. Bacon in his eyes to let him know he went up to my doorstep and stole my son’s life. And I can look into his eyes and let him know how wrong he is, and what a beautiful person he stole from us and what our lives are today.”
Mohan told the court her family had a joyful life before the shooting. Since then, not a day has gone by that she hasn’t thought of her son first thing in the morning or before bed.
The shooting derailed her own career plans of fashion design in New York City and led to her divorce one year later.
“The death of Christopher was too painful, everyone needed their own space and time to find a way to go on,” she said.
“That beautiful family I once had was torn apart with the same bullet that took Christopher’s life.”
Mohan is a devout Catholic and named her son after St. Christopher but she said she was angry with God following his death and had hoped for a miracle that would bring him back.
She wept as she described seeing her son’s body after an autopsy.
“Seeing Chris’s lifeless body made me want to break this world down, I wanted to scream,” she said.
Corey Lal and his brother Michael Lal were also killed in the shootings. Their sister Jourdane Lal gave the first victim impact statement and a lawyer read out statements on behalf of their parents.
Justice Kathleen Ker is scheduled to release her sentencing decision Sept. 11.