Three accused in the Surrey Six murders sit in the prisoner’s box in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. Seated behind them are Lois Schellenberg (far left) and Eileen Mohan (black hair)

Surrey Six victim’s nephew heard strange noises on day of murder

It was Zachary Brown’s first week working as a gas fitter when his uncle Ed Schellenberg and five others were killed.

The nephew of Surrey Six murder victim Ed Schellenberg testified Wednesday that he was told not to service the gas fireplace in the apartment where his uncle and five others would later be found murdered.

Zachary Brown, 26, took the stand in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, describing how the week-long job with his uncle at Balmoral Tower apartments in Surrey was his first week working as a newly certified gas technician.

After being instructed that he would not be going to suite 1505, Brown went to a neighbouring suite on the 15th floor instead, meeting who he would later learn was Christopher Mohan in 1504. Mohan was wearing basketball shorts and there was a ball nearby, so the two young men chatted about the game while Brown worked on the fireplace. He seemed like a nice kid, Brown testified.

Brown, who was 20 years old at the time, then went to suite 1508, where, after returning to his van for some paint, he continued work, talking to the male tenant there. It was then, Brown said, he heard strange noises.

He passed it off, not wanting to interrupt the conversation, he testified.

“They were very steady and grouped together,” said Brown of the noises. “There was no pause between each sound. It was one, two, three, four, five. Four or five.”

In a police statement he would give later, he said they didn’t sound like gunshots, but more like something hitting a wall.

His job was done for the day, but he talked to the tenant for a while longer about a TV he had for sale, then left, leaving the building toward home. His uncle’s van was still in the parking lot at the Balmoral.

It wasn’t until later that the tenant from suite 1508 called him – they had exchanged numbers about the TV – to say something “bad” had happened at the Balmoral and to watch the news.

Brown’s mother also called later to see how much work there was left to do when he left the Balmoral because Schellenberg hadn’t returned home and his aunt had called, wondering.

Brown was the third witness to testify at the trial of three men charged with killing six men on Oct. 19, 2007 at the Balmoral.

Two innocent victims – Schellenberg and Mohan – were killed that day, as were Edward Narong, Ryan Bartolomeo and brothers Corey and Michael Lal, who had ties to the drug trade.

Cody Rae Haevischer, Matthew Johnston and Quang Vinh Thang (Michael) Le are currently on trial for the murders, facing first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder charges.

Three others, including Jamie Bacon, are also charged in the case. Bacon and another man will be tried at a later date, while another who cannot be named has pleaded guilty.

The trial opened Monday with the Crown laying out its theory that Corey Lal was the intended victim of the mass murder, and that the others were killed to eliminate any witnesses.

Prosecutor Mark Levitz showed photos from the crime scene in suite 1505 of two groups of three bodies lying in rows, all with their heads covered, pools of blood visible around several.

The Crown’s theory is that Corey Lal was dealing drugs in the area, which raised the ire of Bacon and his fellow Red Scorpion gang members because it was on their turf. The Crown alleges Bacon and Le ordered Haevischer, Johnston and another person (who can’t be identified) to kill Corey Lal.

Instead, said prosecutor Mark Levitz, six men were executed that day.

The first two witnesses to take the stand earlier this week were Norman and Tracy Carothers, the former co-managers of the apartment building.

Norman was emotional as he re-lived the moment he opened suite 1505 and saw six bodies on the floor. He initially thought it was a gas leak, but upon looking around the room, realized it was something else, and fled to get a neighbour to call 911.

Tracy Carothers also recalled the day leading up to the murders, and the fact she had suggested to Schellenberg that he not have his young nephew service the fireplace in suite 1505 because of the type of young men she saw coming and going from the suite. She testified that she had earlier warned the owner of the suite that she thought his tenant was dealing drugs.

The trial continues.

Just Posted

Structure fire closes section of Fraser Highway

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

GUIDE: Rodeo, community events in Cloverdale this weekend

Bed races, chili cook-off, parade and the rodeo itself

Surrey RCMP search for missing 17-year-old girl

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

Surrey to begin ‘public engagement process’ on policing transition next week

First in a series of public events set for May 23 at Cloverdale rec centre

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly threatening another youth with a knife in Cloverdale

This was Thursday at a park in the 17200-block of 61A Avenue, Sergeant Chad Greig told the Now-Leader

Jeep totalled, four young people in hospital, after single-vehicle crash in Surrey

Mounties have not ruled out any possible factors in what led to the overnight crash

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Most Read