News

Homicide team investigating shooting of Maple Ridge realtor

An Indo-Canadian man who walks with a limp has been identified as the main suspect in the attempted murder of a Maple Ridge realtor.

The RCMP's Integrated Homicide Team released a description of the man late Tuesday a month after Franz Prokop was injured while showing a seven-hectare (19-acre) property listed for sale, located on Lougheed Highway, just east of 240th Street.

Prokop was shot multiple times in the head just after 12:40 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31. The former District of Maple Ridge councillor managed to flag down a passing car, and an off-duty paramedic was one of the first people on scene.

Prokop was airlifted to hospital as police rushed to shut down a long stretch of Lougheed Hwy., from 240th Street towards Mission.

Sgt. Jennifer Pound with the RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said despite an extensive search of the property, no one was found.

Investigators are now focused on a suspect seen with Prokop. He is described as an Indo-Canadian man in his 50s, who speak with an accent, has a full beard, a round face, wears a turban and walks with a limp.

"We are still looking to identify what the motive was for this shooting," Pound added.

"We do believe it was targeted and it was planned."

Police are also want to speak to anyone who drove past the Lougheed Highway property around noon on Aug. 31 and may have spotted Prokop's dark-coloured BMW car as well as the suspect's vehicle which is a large, dark pickup truck.

Pound would not elaborate on Prokop's condition, only saying "he is recovering."

"Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of him and his family," Pound added.

"At this point we just want to concentrate who the possible suspect is and keep any details surrounding Prokop to ourselves for now."

The rural property where Prokop was shot is one of his listings and currently on the market for $1.88 million. The property is owned by Haney Bingoplex Ltd.

It has previously housed a marijuana grow operation and a methamphetamine lab.

In 2010, a semi-trailer filled with a million dollars worth of brand name merchandise was torched on the property and eight people were arrested.

Friends of Prokop were not aware that police had identified a suspect but pleased that a description had now been released.

"That's some progress at least," said said Bob Shantz, a lawyer who is representing Prokop in a civil suit concerning a $3.6 million lottery ticket.

The civil suit, filed in New Westminster Supreme Court, alleges Peter Dushop, who was the son of Prokop’s former common-law wife, Angelika Dushop, took a lottery ticket Prokop purchased and cashed it just prior to the one year expiry date in July 2008.

Shantz does not know anyone who fit the suspect's description.

"I haven't heard anything at all. I'm often the last guy to know," he added.

• Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-IHIT, or, if you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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