Police are investigating the latest shooting in Calgary, after a brazen attack at a busy northeast shopping mall left one dead and another two victims with serious life-threatening injuries.
Officers responded to the shooting at Trans Canada Centre in the community of Marlborough Park at 2 p.m. on Nov. 13, the latest of five shootings that have occurred in the city in the past four days.
“Over the past four days, our officers have worked incredibly hard to respond to several brazen incidents of gun violence that have shaken many Calgarians’ sense of safety in the city,” said Acting Deputy Chief Cory Dayley of the CPS Bureau of Investigative Support.
“Each one of these incidents has occurred within a community, some in broad daylight and some narrowly missing innocent bystanders. We know that Calgarians are shocked and concerned that these incidents will have lasting impacts on our community,” he said.
A/DC Dayley said that CPS believes that Monday’s shooting, along with the other incidents, were targeted shootings with probable links to organized crime activity.
“It’s unfortunately consistent with what we’re seeing across the country across North America today with the violence and the shootings. It is not common that we’d see this many days in a row with this type of violence, and this spate of violence so it’s concerning to us,” he said.
Officers seek offenders in shopping mall shooting
The Calgary Police Service said that officers flooded the 52 Avenue NE location after the shooting to locate the offenders.
They said they didn't believe there was any ongoing risk to the public from that incident.
A/DC Dayley said that the service was taking active steps to address gun violence and organized crime activity in the city, but that community support would be vital to ending the violence that has rocked sense of safety of residents in Marlborough, Abbeydale, and MacEwan.
"We are working and the community is concerned and we are concerned alongside them,” Dayley said.
"We have teams working to try and connect these together if they are indeed connected. If they're not, then work independently to try and bring the people that are responsible to justice."
He said that the CPS Violent Crime Suppression Team, along with other CPS units have proactively been monitoring some 350 Calgarians believed to be connected to organized crime, and have arrested 83 of those individuals.
The police have also seized 375 illegal firearms in Calgary, with almost 90 of those from individuals connected to organized crime. The majority of those firearms he said have been trafficked from the United States.
"While we've seen some positive impacts as a result of this work, we still rely on support from the community which is critical. As Calgarians we can all help prevent organized crime related violence in the city. As a resident, you know best what activity is out of the ordinary in your community in your surrounding,” Dayley said.
Growth in violence due to shifting nature of organized crime
A/DC Dayley said that the conflict that is going on between members of organized crime groups has been fluid, and that has led to difficulties in keeping up with affiliations and allegiances amongst people in the high-risk lifestyle.
"It changes just as fast as we get a handle on these groups. Their motives change, and their affiliations and allegiances in the group change. So, that creates this sort of consistent conflict when they branch out on their own or they're in debt to their current crew,” he said.
He said that the brazenness of the more recent shootings in public places has also an element of crimes of opportunity on targeted individuals.
"They're pre-planned, so these people know who their targets are. They know who the other groups in town are, and they are prepared to take action when they see or can come upon these people,” Dayley said.
"That's why we're seeing some of the more brazen daytime or public shootings is they might not get a second chance and they take the opportunity when they see it, which is something that we don't need happening in Calgary."
A/DC Dayley asked the public to share any information or video they may have about ongoing incidents, or anything out of the ordinary with police at 403-266-1234, or anonymously to Crimestoppers.
He also made a plea directly to the individuals who are participating in the violence, and are most at risk of ending up killed themselves.
"We're always looking to help anybody who uses who is involved in that life of crime,” Dayley said.
"We would definitely like to talk to anybody who's involved in that ,or has a family member that they're looking to get out or help with to get out of this life. Anything that we can do to prevent harm to them and and get them on the lifestyle, we would do."