Vancouver resident Sukhdeep Singh Sandhu, 26, has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault in connection with a Richmond shooting Wednesday.
Sandhu appeared briefly in Richmond Provincial Court Friday.
Sandhu has been remanded in custody until Jan. 24.
He is facing four charges in total including three counts of attempted murder and one of aggravated assault.
RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen said Sandhu was arrested a short distance away just five minutes after gunfire erupted about 9 p.m. at the bash for new union members at the Riverside Banquet Hall in the 14500-block of River Road.
Thiessen said the four people injured are in stable condition in hospital with various gunshot wounds.
"Police recognize these types of incidents are very concerning to the public. The potential for innocent people to be hurt is high. I'd like to clarify that we have determined this is a targeted incident, which happened at a private function," Thiessen said.
"At this point police are still trying to determine if the shooting was gang related."
While some of the 150 people who attended have spoken to Richmond RCMP, others have not, he said.
"We need more cooperation than we are getting," Thiessen said.
The attack is not believed to be linked to a recent spate of shootings across the Lower Mainland that left four dead.
The Vancouver Sun has learned that the suspected shooter was an invited guest who briefly left the party and returned with a gun. Some in attendance said the gun jammed or more people could have been hurt.
Richmond RCMP's major crime squad is leading the investigation, with support from specialist integrated units as required, Thiessen said.
Mark Gordienko, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union — Canada, said he was "shocked and saddened by this incident that has affected some of our members."
"On behalf of the union, I want to express our best wishes to the families involved, and to everyone who witnessed this terrible event," he said.
Gordienko stressed it was not an official union event. He said no union executive members were present because they were in their own meetings at various Metro Vancouver locations.
"The ILWU represents 4,000 workers across the Lower Mainland," he said. "I understand a small number attended last night's event."
He confirmed the party was held to celebrate new union members, which he said is a tradition.
"I have no further knowledge of the incident and strongly urge everyone involved, members and non-members, to fully cooperate with the RCMP in their investigation," he said. "My office will do everything we can to help."
Thiessen did not have details of the victims' injuries, but initial reports from the B.C. Ambulance Service were that "all had life-threatening injuries."
"Three were taken to Vancouver General Hospital and one to Richmond General," BCAS spokesman Ben Mittelsteadt said Wednesday night.
One of the hall managers, who refused to identify himself, told The Sun Wednesday night that "everything's fine, they've taken everybody away, the banquet's finished and the staff has all gone home."
"We don't know what happened," he said.
After the shooting, witnesses were taken to the Richmond detachment on a transit bus.
River Road remained closed off Thursday morning as police searched the scene.
It is the same banquet hall where gangster Kuljit (Kelly) Buttar was gunned down and killed at a wedding on Dec. 22, 2001. Four others were wounded in the spray of bullets then.
Several dozen off-duty Richmond RCMP officers and one off-duty paramedic were having their annual Christmas party just above where the shooting took place.
"We were in another part of the building when shots rang out below," Thiessen — then a constable — told The Sun in 2001.
Officers, many wearing evening wear, rushed downstairs and provided first aid to those shot, Thiessen said.
"We saw lots of blood and lots of hysterical people," he said. "We went from a Christmas-party mode to active police work in a split second. ... Our members reacted quickly. We were responsible for saving lives. ... We were concerned for our safety. We weren't sure if these people were going to come back."
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