One year after Kalwinder Thind died outside his workplace “trying to do the right thing,” his family is still searching for answers and justice.
Thind, a 23-year-old nightclub promoter at the Cabana Lounge on the Granville Strip, was stabbed after intervening in a fight outside the club at around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 27, 2018. He died in hospital.
There have been no charges or arrests in Thind’s unsolved murder, despite the incident happening in front of dozens of witnesses, his family said.
“We want someone to come forward. We want justice,” said brother-in-law Simran Bhullar on Sunday, as the family prepares for a candlelight vigil outside the club to mark the first anniversary of Thind’s death.
“We want people to know we are not going to go away. There’s a lot of support and love for our brother, and we want everyone to know that.”
Vancouver police say the investigation is ongoing and remains a priority.
Thind, also known as Kris to his friends and Kindie to his family, previously worked at Richmond Chrysler and as a bouncer at another club.
He was less than a month into his new job at Cabana when an alcohol-fuelled fight between two groups turned deadly after someone brandished a knife.
Tension was already brewing between the two groups inside the club, said police at the time. When the fight broke out, a friend told Thind not to get involved, said Bhullar, but Thind wasn’t one to walk away from his principles.
“He always tried to do the right thing — that was something he was about. He was a black belt, he was built, he knew how to handle himself, and he told the friend, ‘If I don’t go out there and do something, someone might die,’ ” said Bhullar.
Thind’s death has left his family devastated.
“The last year has been brutal, just having one of our core being taken away,” said Bhullar, describing Thind, the youngest of three siblings, as full of life, energy and laughter.
Thind’s death sparked calls for improved safety measures along the downtown entertainment district, including late-night access to transit and the installation of security cameras.
Last spring, BarWatch, a safety advocacy group for bars and nightclubs, implemented a new code of conduct that includes a lifetime ban from all BarWatch establishments for anyone charged with a violent offence and found to be in possession of a knife or weapon inside or outside of its clubs.
Vancouver council, however, ultimately rejected installing CCTV cameras along the Strip because of concerns over cost, privacy requirements and effectiveness in preventing crime.
Bhuller said the family believes cameras can make the Strip safer, comparing it with cameras on SkyTrain or buses.
“We don’t want to see this happen to anyone else,” he said.
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