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Sentencing set in gangland slaying outside Burnaby vape store

Ahmed Riyaz Tahir, 21, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of Blerton (Toni) Dalipi, 19, outside Boss Vapes in May 2021 amid a surge of shootings linked to the Lower Mainland gang conflict.

A 21-year-old man is scheduled to be sentenced this week after pleading guilty in June to second-degree murder in a deadly gangland shooting outside a Burnaby vape store last year.

Ahmed Riyaz Tahir originally faced charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in relation to the brazen daylight shooting outside Boss Vapes on Sixth Street near 13th Avenue on May 8, 2021.

The shooting left Blerton (Toni) Dalipi, 19, dead and another person at the scene injured, according to police reports at the time.

The incident was captured on security video and a dashcam video posted on social media.

The videos show a masked man firing several shots with a handgun, turning, stumbling to the ground and then taking off.

Tahir had no criminal record at the time of his arrest, but B.C.’s anti-gang agency, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said Tahir had had "criminal affiliations," and the killing was linked to the Lower Mainland gang conflict.

On May 31 of this year, however, prosecutors dropped the first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges and proceeded with a single count of second-degree murder, according to the Vancouver Supreme Court registry.

Tahir pleaded guilty to that charge on June 1 and is scheduled for sentencing in Vancouver Supreme Court tomorrow.

A second-degree murder conviction comes with a mandatory life sentence with no eligibility for parole for at least 10 years.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor


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