Richmondshooting victim was Blaine grad

Published on Thu, Feb 8, 2007 by Meg Olson

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Richmond shooting victim was Blaine grad

By Meg Olson

A graduate of Blaine high school was killed in a drive-by shooting in Richmond, B.C. last month.

Kirk Holifield, 35, of Ladner, was found slumped over the wheel of his pickup truck at the intersection of Shell Road and Westminster Highway on January 11, suffering from several gunshot wounds. He was transported to Vancouver General Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Holifield, a Blaine high school graduate, was a founding member of the Point Roberts Pirates hockey team.

“He’s been an integral part of our team since the beginning,” said teammate David Gellatly. “He played hard but talked to everybody. In the dressing room he was a real inspiration. He made everybody feel at ease. This is just a tragic loss of a really, really nice man.”

Gellatly shares in publicized speculation that Holifield’s death was a case of mistaken identity. “There is no question in my mind this had to be something off the wall – a mistake,” he said.

The Vancouver Sun and Richmond News have published reports that Holifield’s vehicle was the same make and model as one driven by a relative of one of the victims of the January 4 Dover Park shootings, that left three men suspected of gang activity wounded and 100-150 shell casings on the ground.

Corporal Dale Carr of the Richmond RCMP said that they were continuing their investigation of Holifield’s death.

“We haven’t established that he was the intended target but it has all the hallmarks of a targeted attack,” he said. “We haven’t the facts to suggest it is connected to the Dover Park incidents. As the investigation goes on if we do get a link we’ll let the community know.”

Gellatly said he and other members of the community attended a Richmond memorial for Holifield on December 19, which he estimated was attended by over 900 people.

“Everyone was there,” he said. “He just had so many friends.”

Holifield is the son of Bert and Miki Holifield (Mummy and Beet); and the grandson of Birch Bay resident Agnes McLeod (Granny-mop) and Robert McLeod, with whom he spent most of his childhood summers at their home.

Local friends of Holifield have established a memorial account in his name at Banner Bank for his 10-month-old daughter Amelia.