'We love you': Memorial grows for 11-year-old killed with dad targeted in gang hit

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Dozens of stuffed animals, flowers and emotional notes are mounting in sombre tribute in a south Edmonton parking lot where an 11-year-old boy and his father were fatally gunned down Thursday in a targeted gang hit.

Police on Sunday night released images and video of suspects in the noon shooting near 50 Street and Ellerslie Road that left Harpeet Singh Uppal, 41, and his son dead. Police on Friday stressed that while the boy’s father was the target of the hit, the gunman took aim at the boy, too. Another 11-year-old boy not related to the family was able to flee the vehicle they were in.

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Mourners at the scene over the days that followed have been signing an oversized NBA basketball jersey where heart-wrenching scrawled messages have been left.

“Mom loves you lots, for life”

“You were loved, my little guy — we wait to wrestle you again.”

“Here’s to the best Fortnight player I ever knew.”

“You were an amazing person. Rest in peace.”

“Never forgotten.”

“Rest in paradise,” someone scrawled. “I won’t every forget your love for X-mas and Fortnite. Won’t ever forget you. Watch over us. We love you.”

“We are truly sorry for the huge loss of your family members. Our hearts and prayers are with you,” read a card with flowers, signed by an “Ellerslie student and former student.”

Scribbles on a basketball bid the boy to “Rest Easy.”

A woman who lives nearby said on Sunday she is still reeling from shock that a gunman fatally shot an 11-year-old in broad daylight in what another person described as a “peaceful” neighbourhood.

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“He was only 11 years old. What was his fault? Nothing, right? It’s very sad,” she said.

Police on Sunday night said that two suspects prior to the killings had pulled up in a black BMW SUV, exited their vehicle and ran towards Uppal’s white SUV before one of them fired a weapon. The pair then raced away in the BMW. Police continue to investigate whether the suspect vehicle and the vehicle found burned north of Beaumont are the same.

On Friday, police said that Uppal and his family were the targets of a 2021 shooting in which a gunman fired through the window of a south Edmonton restaurant.

Uppal, say police, was a higher-level figure in Edmonton’s organized crime scene. Sources have told Postmedia he was a prominent Brothers Keepers associate and that the killings are believed to be part of a feud between the UN gang and Brothers Keepers. The day before Uppal was killed, B.C. UN gangster Parmvir Chahil was shot to death in Toronto.

Court records show Uppal was scheduled to face a Court of King’s Bench trial next May on charges of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possessing stolen property and possessing illegal body armour.

— With files from Jonny Wakefield

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