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

Furstenau accuses Horgan of politicizing new Cowichan hospital as premier makes Valley campaign stop

Premier suggests that new facility hinges on re-election of NDP government

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre streaming new short film tonight

Standing By has been created and performed by Cowichan-raised actor Nicole Ratjen.

Who’s running in Cowichan?

A list of Cowichan candidates for the upcoming provincial election

Original drums recovered amid offers to replace stolen Chemainus church set

Chemainus United Church grateful for actions of a caring community

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Wildfire smoke expected to blanket to Vancouver Island again

Conditions expected to worsen Wednesday afternoon

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read