Last week Todd Gouwenberg, 46, was shot and killed outside of the Langley Sportsplex in Langley, British Columbia. According to the Vancouver Sun Gouwenberg, an MMA veteran, had ‘lengthy ties’ to gangs in the Lower Mainland area of BC.
The Sun reports that Gouwenberg’s first known interaction with criminal gangs was a decade ago when he was assaulted by a group of men belonging to the Red Scorpions gang.
The Red Scorpions were founded in BC in the early 2000s and have since been linked to some of the bloodiest bouts of gang violence in the province. The gang is thought to be responsible for the 2007 condo suite massacre known as The Surrey Six Murders.
The Sun reports that, at the time of his confrontation with the Red Scorpions, Gouwenberg was making collections for the Hells Angels. At the time of his death Gouwenberg was an alleged member of the United Nations gang. UN, a deadly rival of the Red Scorpions, was also founded in BC.
The UN and Red Scorpions were major players in a period of gang violence that gripped the Lower Mainland between 2009 and 2012. Gouwenberg’s death last Wednesday was the third suspected gang killing in the Lower Mainland in four days, leading to fears that a gang war might be about to erupt.
RCMP Asst. Commissioner Manny Mann, who heads the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said that currently the UN are at odds with an alliance that includes the Red Scorpions, Independent Soldiers and Wolfpack.
Mann also said that Gouwenberg had a 20-year-long association with organized crime in BC.
Nicknamed ‘Fighter’ Gouwenberg made his pro MMA debut in 2003. Fighting at heavyweight Gouwenberg amassed a pro record of 9-5 over a six year span.
Gouwenberg’s most notable opponents were Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and David Loiseau. Gouwenberg faced ‘Minotouro’ in the main event of Hardcore Championship Fighting: Destiny, held in Calgary, AB in 2008. Nogueira won that fight by TKO in the second round.
A month later Gouwenberg fought Loiseau in the main event at HCF: Crow’s Nest in Gatineau, QC. Loiseau won that fight by unanimous decision.
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