Two arrested for murder of man acquitted in 2005 Air India bombings
The Canadian Press
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2022 1:39 PM EDT
Last updated Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at 5:14 p.m. EDT
SURREY, BC – Two men have been charged with first degree murder in the death of Ripudaman Singh Malik.
Malik, the man acquitted in 2005 for bombing raids targeting Air India jets that killed 331 people, was shot down in his vehicle outside his business in Surrey, British Columbia, on July 14.
Tanner Fox, 21, and Jose Lopez, 23, have been charged.
Police said after the killing that a vehicle with people inside had waited for hours that morning before Malik, 75, showed up and he was shot at around 9.30am.
The same vehicle, a white Honda CRV, was found burned down not far from the scene of the shooting.
Police released a photo and video of the car driving through a mall parking lot, but did not say how many people were in the vehicle, saying they did not want to “infect” potential witnesses.
An employee who works at a nearby car wash said he heard gunshots the morning Malik was killed and ran outside to find him unconscious in his red Tesla.
Malik and his co-defendant, Ajaib Singh Bagri, were found not guilty of murder and conspiracy in the Air India bombings on June 23, 1985.
A bomb was on an Air India plane which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 passengers and crew.
About an hour later, a bomb intended for another Air India plane exploded prematurely at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, where two baggage handlers died.
Court documents show Fox and Lopez had prior criminal records.
Lopez was convicted of assault causing bodily harm for a 2018 incident in Abbotsford.
He was charged with seven firearms offences, willfully resisting an officer and uttering threats for a July 2021 incident in Kelowna.
Fox’s convictions include assault causing bodily harm and robbery for separate incidents in 2019 in Abbotsford.
He is also charged with willfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer in December 2021.
Fox is due in court in September on an assault charge for an alleged offense committed on April 8 in New Westminster.
The British Columbia Prosecution Service said Fox and Lopez appeared in Surrey Provincial Court on Wednesday and the case has been adjourned until August 10, when a bail hearing is scheduled.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 27, 2022.