Statement from Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards – Charges in relation to homicide of a 17-year-old youth


2023-04-18 12:35 PDT

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has arrested a 20-year old man in relation to the stabbing death of Ethan Bespflug.

Statement from Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards, Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP

First off, I extend my deepest condolences to Ethan’s friends and family. As a parent of a teenager myself it is heartbreaking. After all these years of being a police officer, I still struggle with the senselessness of certain crimes - this is one of those times. 

I want to thank the residents of Surrey for your trust and patience as police worked to advance this investigation.

The homicide investigators from IHIT and police officers from the Surrey RCMP and Metro Vancouver Transit Police have done their jobs. They worked to bring this investigation to the point of charge approval. The next stage is to work with Crown to move it forward.

Although, there is nothing that can bring Ethan back, or make sense of this tragedy, I hope that this update will bring some level of comfort to his family and to the community.

In terms of public safety in Surrey around major transit hubs, what are we going to do?

Firstly, we continue to work closely with our partners at Metro Vancouver Transit Police.

Secondly, we have increased patrols and presence by reassigning our Mobile Street Enforcement Team to Transit Hubs.

Lastly, the investigative and intelligence led approach to prolific offenders using Transit will be front stage to address these issues into the future.

These violent incidents generate community fear.

As such, I remain committed to a direct approach, as noted above, and a long-term approach to address root causes such at mental health, additions, bail reform and resourcing.

Thank you.


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