Jessica Sherman is pictured here with her brother Harwin Baringh in August 2014, two months before he was killed. She is tying a string on his wrist, a symbolic promise of protection.

Candlelight vigil in Abbotsford remembers those lost to gang violence

Organizer says event gives perspective to drug and gang epidemic

Kids Play Foundation holds a candlelight vigil in Abbotsford on Sunday, Oct. 13 for families to talk about and grieve the loss of their loved ones to gangs.

The event, titled Labelled: Caught in the Crossfire, starts at 4 p.m. at Abbotsford Civic Plaza, 32315 South Fraser Way.

Jessica Sherman of Kids Play said the event will provide a safe place for families to “speak their truth, share their sorrow and celebrate the lives of their lost children.”

“This conversation will be integral in removing the labels, shifting the narrative, and revisiting the usage of the word ‘gangster,’” she said.

Sherman said she wants people to attend the event to “gain an informed perspective of the drug and gang epidemic so we can combat it before another youth falls victim.”

Among the speakers will be Ken Dosanjh, the brother of Ron and Jimmy Dosanjh, who died in gang-related killings within two months of each other in 1994.

RELATED: Sister of teen gunned down in 2014 aims to keep kids out of gangs

RELATED: Murder victim a recent graduate of Mouat Secondary in Abbotsford

Sherman’s cousin Harwin Baringh, whom she refers to as her brother, was gunned down on Sparrow Drive in west Abbotsford on Oct. 2, 2014 at the age of 18. She and her family do not believe that the bullets were intended for him.

Sherman said Baringh had begun associating with a different group of people in the months before he died.

Nobody has been arrested or charged in relation to his death.

Sherman said Baringh and others in these circumstances are often referred to as “gangsters.”

“The public is quick to dismiss such homicides because ‘gangsters’ should anticipate untimely demises as an outcome of their affiliations or criminal actions,” she said.

But Sherman said the public rarely hears that the individual had an identity beyond that.

Baringh, for example, was an “honest, compassionate, determined young man” who had spent the previous seven summers working 12 hours a day on a farm.

Before he was killed, he had been excited about pursuing post-secondary education in Calgary in January 2015, Sherman said.

She said vulnerable youth can sometimes get mixed up with the wrong group, as they look for a sense of belonging.

“These blinders of loyalty prevent them from distinguishing right from wrong or detecting any underlying motives of this group of people.”

Sherman is the director of operations for the Abbotsford chapter of Kids Play Foundation, an organization aimed at keeping kids out of gangs and away from drugs and violence.

Contact jessica@kidsplayfoundation.com for more info.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mission asks public for feedback on proposed Tree Management Bylaw

Currently, tree removal and cutting can take place without a permit

UFV to launch Peace and Reconciliation Centre in Abbotsford

Online event on Sept. 24 features keynote speaker Bob Rae and Steven Point

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in Mission RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving RCMP holding cell, police say; family has doubts

Two employees test positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution

Not outbreak, infected staff had no direct contact with inmates, Correctional Service Canada says

Fraser Valley foursome to hike 70km over mountains in memory of friend

Friends from Abbotsford and Langley to hike from Hope to Tulameen for Brook Morrison

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

One injured in South Surrey shooting

Shots reported in area of 194 Street and 34 Avenue

Report raises questions about COVID outbreak that killed 25 seniors at Langley Lodge

CEO defends leaked document that’s igniting queries about BC’s most deadly COVID outbreak

PHOTO: RCMP escort beaver across busy Chilliwack road

Motorists had to exercise patience as the slow-moving creature crossed several lanes of traffic

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

Most Read