It’s 22 days into the New Year and already Edmonton has recorded four homicides and one suspicious death; three of the deaths happened within the last four days.
“There’s been a spat of these, obviously, if you watch the news; over the weekend — three in four days. It’s certainly unsettling for some people… and we understand that,” Edmonton Police Service spokesperson Scott Pattison said Tuesday morning.
“From a community standpoint, these aren’t random shootings or random acts of violence, should we say. But they’re violence nonetheless and when it happens in your neighbourhood, it’s very frightening.”
Monday, Jan. 21: Suspicious death in the Orchards at Ellerslie
The most recent death happened on Monday night in the city’s far south. Police were called shortly before 8 p.m. after reports of gunshots in the Orchards at Ellerslie neighbourhood.
A 24-year-old man was found lying in the road with “undetermined injuries.” Several personal items could be seen surrounding a pool of blood on the road. The man was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Homicide detectives have since taken over the investigation and Pattison said it’s believed the incident was targeted. Officers were canvassing the neighbourhood Tuesday in hopes of tracking down surveillance video of the incident.
“The community is our number one partner and surveillance today plays a key role in trying to resolve many of these issues and helping police locate those responsible for these heinous acts of violence,” Pattison said.
Watch below: A young man is dead after reports of a shooting in south Edmonton on Monday night. Police are now investigating it as a suspicious death.
Sunday, Jan. 20: Homicide in Ermineskin
At around 1:50 a.m. Sunday, an injured man was found lying on the ground outside an apartment complex in the area of 24 Avenue and 104 Street. He was pronounced dead by EMS at the scene and homicide detectives have since taken over the investigation.
On Tuesday, Pattison described the incident as “very spontaneous” and a “situation that apparently escalated rapidly.”
Police later said 20-year-old Gearard Wright died from a stab wound and that his death was homicide.
Friday, Jan. 18: Targeted home invasion in Montrose
A 59-year-old woman died as a result of blunt force trauma during what police called a targeted home invasion in northeast Edmonton on Friday night.
Barbara Nelson’s death has been ruled a homicide. A man who was also in the home at the time suffered serious injuries and remained in hospital on Monday.
Pattison said police are also seeking surveillance from anyone who lives near the home, in the area of 119 Avenue and 61 Street.
“Investigators would really like to see some surveillance. We’re asking that neighbours, residents in the neighbourhood, look if they have surveillance cameras and contact police,” he stressed.
Wednesday, Jan. 9: Homicide in Mayliewan
A 52-year-old man was found injured and lying on the sidewalk in the area of 77 Street and 166 Avenue at around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9.
Enzo Campoli died from multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide. Charges have not been laid.
Saturday, Jan. 5: Homicide in Westmount
A 32-year-old man was charged with second-degree murder following the city’s first homicide of 2019 in west Edmonton.
At around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, a 20-year-old man was pronounced dead following a disturbance at an apartment complex the area of 110 Avenue and 124 Street.
The victim’s identity was not released. Martin Ronald Damien Grey has since been charged with second-degree murder. Police said Grey knew the victim.
Crime ‘ebbs and flows’
The recent rash of violence has police from all departments working around the clock.
“There are ebbs and flows and it’s all anecdotal when this happens, how it happens,” Pattison explained.
“Sometimes it’s targeted, sometimes it’s fuelled by impairment. I’m not going to speculate why exactly crime happens — it’s a vast topic and very complex. But certainly these are periods of time — the weekend like we just had in Edmonton here — where all of our resources are pulled from the divisional level: from the identification folks, forensics, from homicide and that’s what their skills are. That’s what they’re trained to do.”
By Jan. 24, 2018, Edmonton had recorded three homicides. As of Jan. 21, 2017, Edmonton had recorded five homicides.
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