Kyle Gianis survived yet another attempt on his life on Saturday in Kelowna, the second this year — again in broad daylight.
Police believe the Pandosy Street shooting — which left a 25-year-old Surrey man with life-threatening injuries while Gianis was treated and released from hospital within the same day — was targeted due to Gianis’s criminal activity and associates. Kelowna RCMP Insp. Beth McAndie said Gianis poses a “threat to our community and the public in general.”
Mounties also confirmed investigators found an explosive device in the same area the shooting took place.
“Based on our examination, this device had the potential to cause significant damage to property and seriously injure members of the public that evening,” said McAndie.
This kind of incident is nothing new for Gianis.
In March, Gianis escaped another targeted shooting in Kelowna with minor injuries.
Shots rang out at a Burtch Road gym on March 29, with Vancouver Sun’s Kim Bolan reporting Gianis was the victim and later mocked his assailants on social media.
A suspect fled the scene in a car, later found on fire in a north Kelowna neighbourhood.
Earlier that month, Gianis’s West Kelowna home was raided by B.C.’s gang cops, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.
Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran called the latest shooting “very distressing and concerning.”
“Incidents like this put the lives of innocent people and our first responders at risk and are not acceptable,” he said.
“Thankfully, gun violence is extremely rare in Kelowna.”
The Vancouver Sun previously reported Gianis survived a 2017 gangland hit in Langley, that left his friend Tyler Pastuck dead, and a 2018 shooting in which the assailant entered the wrong home, killing Surrey nurse Paul Bennett.
In 2008, he was sentenced in Washington to 13 years in prison for smuggling ingredients used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine across the border. He was transferred to a Canadian jail in 2012 and granted parole in 2013.
Gianis runs a sportswear company in West Kelowna called Iron Athletics Inc.
In April 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Gianis invited several bodybuilders to the Okanagan to film a series on training for the big stage.
He recruited five bodybuilders from across the country to move into a house to film a reality show. The group stayed in Gianis’s West Kelowna home against the province’s health guidelines, which caused some scathing criticism.
“People are threatening the group, and are telling us to kill ourselves,” said Gianis at the time.
The RCMP has now released surveillance footage showing a suspect allegedly fleeing the scene of the Saturday shooting in hopes of identifying him. Witnesses spotted him leaving in a light-coloured SUV.
Mounties are urging anybody with information on the suspect to call the Kelowna detachment at 250-762-3300 or anonymously leave a tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include further information from the Kelowna RCMP.