Jonathan Bacon Shooting: Kelowna Brothers Allegedly Headed Red Scorpions
VANCOUVER - The way in which Jonathan Bacon was gunned down in a broad-daylight shooting in a busy tourist neighbourhood in Kelowna this weekend may have been shocking, but his death wasn't.
Bacon is the eldest of three brothers belonging to British Columbia's most notorious family.
Police have long associated Jonathan, Jarrod and Jamie with leading the Red Scorpions, a gang engaged in a drug war. At one point in 2008, officers warned the public to stay away from Jarrod and Jamie, saying anyone in their social sphere could be in danger of being caught in the crossfire of a targeted hit.
Police warnings have been in contrast to assertions by the brothers' father that his boys are innocent and their mother has testified in court about the horror of an attempted assassination on her youngest son in the family driveway.
This weekend in Kelowna, one man was killed and five were injured after witnesses say one or two masked gunmen opened fire on a white Porsche SUV before leaping into a getaway SUV and speeding off.
Police confirmed Monday the dead man is Jonathan Bacon and officers also said a full-patch Hells Angels member was wounded. Two women in the vehicle were also wounded, as was a man who fled the scene.
It's a renewal of violence that played out on the streets of Metro Vancouver two years ago, though the killings have abated recently.
Jonathan Bacon was out of jail awaiting a Supreme Court of Canada decision of his claim that his charter rights were violated by police when officers found drugs and weapons in his car and home in 2005.
He and two others were arrested that August after a police surveillance team said they were seen 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. They challenged the charges in court, arguing that Abbotsford police did not have sufficient cause to search them and, therefore, violated their charter rights.
Court was told that the day before the arrests were made, a justice of the peace denied a search warrant, finding that there were not reasonable grounds.
The following day police searched their vehicles and made the arrests, saying officers had witnessed a suspected drug transaction. Abbotsford police then applied for a new search warrant, which was granted.
In 2008, the provincial court agreed their rights had been violated and dismissed the case. But the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the decision last year and ordered a new trial.
Lawyers for the three then appealed to Canada's highest court and in November 2010, the high court agreed to hear the appeal.
The youngest of the brothers, Jamie Bacon, is perhaps the most high profile of the three.
While Jonathan and Jarrod have been filmed in the media looking clean-cut and at times suave, the most common footage of Jamie Bacon is of a muscular man in a sleeveless shirt, arms covered almost entirely in tattoos. His head is shaved.
Jamie Bacon is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection to the deaths of six people in a Surrey high-rise apartment in October 2007. Two innocent bystanders, people at the wrong place at the wrong time, were among the carnage.
One man has pleaded guilty in the case, along with three others. A trial date has not yet been set.
Jamie Bacon, too, has successfully argued his charter rights have been violated.
Last year, he complained of the conditions of his detention at the pre-trial facility in Surrey where he has been kept in segregation, complaints that ranged from the mundane to serious.
His petition said he was allowed only one sheet and a thin blanket, with no pillow, and that the lights in his cell were kept on 24 hours a day. He said he was not allowed access to the prison gym, and that he was denied a television set or gaming console.
But Jamie Bacon also told the court he was kept in his small cell for 23 hours a day, and allowed out only for an hour a day at random times. He contended that his segregation and treatment were at the behest of RCMP investigators, and that he posed no security threat to the facility.
Bacon complained that he was denied any visitors or phone calls except with his legal counsel, and that all his mail was read and sometimes photocopied and provided to police. It emerged during the court hearings that at one point, his privileged telephone calls with his counsel were accidentally recorded on an automatic prison telephone-recording system.
In a scathing judgment, the judge said authorities at the facility have been acting as agents for police and called the situation "scandalous."
The Surrey Six case continues a lengthy plod through the courts, with complications arising this past June when the RCMP announced that four senior officers involved in the investigation are facing a total of 20 charges for obstruction of justice, breach of trust and fraud.
In an entirely separate case, Jamie Bacon was convicted in May 2010 of weapons charges, marking the first substantial guilty verdict against any of the siblings.
He was found guilty of 10 gun-related charges and one charge of possessing oxycodone, charges prompted after rivals attempted an "execution'' of him three years ago.
The charges arose after the youngest Bacon was the target of an April 2007 shooting, surviving with just a bruise thanks to the body armour he was wearing.
Investigators in the case were led to an SUV parked in the Bacon family garage and uncovered a sophisticated hidden compartment full of four handguns and several ammunition magazines.
Jamie Bacon had just pulled up to his family's house in Surrey when one or two people fired a hail of bullets in his direction. One bullet hit him in the back and the rest hit the Corvette he was driving and the house's garage.
He then returned fire from inside the Corvette, the judgement noted.
His eldest brother Jonathan, mother Susan, father David and Jamie's girlfriend were all in the house at the time.
The middle brother, Jarrod Bacon, was also arrested in that case, but he was acquitted.
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.