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Targeted shooting in Kelowna kills gangster Jonathan Bacon

Notorious Red Scorpion member had been target of earlier assassination attempts, this time shot in busy tourist venue.

There's troubling news about the apparent target of a dangerous and very public shooting outside a hotel in downtown Kelowna.

The Canadian Press has the story:

KELOWNA -- A brazen, gangland-style shooting with a machine gun in a bustling tourist area on Sunday afternoon has apparently killed a member of one of British Columbia's most notorious families.

Jonathan Bacon, the eldest of three brothers at the centre of a bloody and long-standing gang war, died of injuries suffered when at least one masked gunman sprayed a car with bullets in downtown Kelowna, according to Vancouver radio station News 1130 and other media outlets.

Five other people in the SUV at the time were rushed to hospital after the drive-by outside the luxury hotel at about 2:45 p.m., according to the B.C. Ambulance Service.

RCMP say the chaos began just after a group of people, including women, were seen leaving the Delta Grand hotel and getting into a white Porsche SUV.

As the vehicle prepared to leave, a silvery-green SUV drove up and stopped behind. At least one person emerged and opened fire.

Police spokesman Const. Steve Holmes told reporters this kind of incident is rare in Kelowna.

"However, when it does happen it is shocking and traumatic to those affected by it and is of concern to the people living in this community,'' he said in a news conference late Sunday.

"The public needs to know that swift and extraordinary measures are being taken in order to ensure that those responsible will be found and brought to account before the courts.''

Holmes wouldn't confirm the identity of the lone man killed or provide any information about the victims' ages, hometowns or relationships were given. Mounties don't believe any bystanders were injured, he said.

"Police believe the general public is not at risk,'' said Holmes, explaining police believe the shooting was targeted.

"It appeared that all the shots fired were directed at one particular vehicle.''

Investigators are now searching for the suspect SUV. No arrests have been made. Police will review video footage from cameras at the hotel and adjoining casino and are asking any witnesses who may have taken photographs or video to come forward.

A local photographer who was watching police work behind yellow tape said the ruckus had calmed by evening. Only guests were being permitted to enter the hotel, said Chris Stanford.

"It's a very, very popular area, it couldn't be more public than if it was on a city beach,'' said Chris Stanford. "There's a lot of foot traffic here. The Delta Grand is the largest and fanciest hotel in town.''

Bacon is one of three brothers RCMP have bluntly associated with gangs.

He, along with his youngest brother, Jamie, has previously been the target of attempted assassins.

Police have said the Bacon brothers control a gang called the Red Scorpions, which figured in a war that played out on the streets of Metro Vancouver since 2008. The killings had recently abated.

The Bacon brothers' aggressive defence of their innocence -- in marked contrast to police characterizations of them -- has also grabbed headlines.

Last November, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear Jonathan Bacon's claim that his charter rights were violated by police who found drugs and weapons in his car and home. He and two others were arrested August 2005 after a police surveillance team said they saw them transferring packages between vehicles.

Subsequent searches found a cache of automatic weapons, silencers, a bulletproof vest and a police uniform, as well as marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and more than $90,000 in cash. The trio was charged with 15 counts of drugs and weapons offences.

The Provincial Court agreed their rights had been violated, but the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the decision and ordered a new trial. Lawyers for the three then appealed to Canada's highest court.

Jamie Bacon is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection to the deaths of six people in a Surrey highrise apartment in October 2007. Two innocent bystanders were among the carnage.

The third brother, Jarrod Bacon, has been arrested in the past for trafficking in narcotics.

At various times during their run-ins with the law, the three have lived in the same Abbotsford house as their parents and their parents frequently accompany them to court.

The brothers' father, David, worked for the Abbotsford school district, but was reportedly placed on paid leave in 2008 out of police concerns that anyone associated with the Bacon sons was in danger.

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