Multiple weapon incidents in Edmonton this weekend

Multiple weapon incidents in Edmonton this weekend

The Edmonton Police Service says the first weekend of the new year was exceptionally violent, extending resources across the city.

Edmonton Police Service vehicles

EPS officers investigating the death of a man early New Year’s Day in west Edmonton.

In four days, officers responded to four deaths. If determined as homicides, Edmonton would be halfway to its record for a January. It’s only January 4.

Edmonton had six homicides in January 2019.

The year with the lowest number of homicides in January was 2012, with zero. The 17-year average is three homicides.

NEW INCIDENTS

In addition to the four deaths, officers responded to three non-lethal shootings and several weapons complaints that involved sharp objects and bear spray.

Edmonton Police Service says a 50-year-old man is facing charges after he barricaded himself in a residence with firearms on Dec. 30.

Edmonton Police Service vehicle

Police investigate a Central McDougall home after a sudden death on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023

That same day, officers were also responded to a weapons complaint at the Eaux Claires Transit Centre that involved a firearm.

Two days later, EPS says it is investigating a shooting after a male presented to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries from a gunshot.

‘RESOURCES ARE STRETCHED THIN’

While police have no control over the timing of incidents, Sgt. Aubrey Zalaski, police spokesperson, said officers and investigators have been extremely busy during the New Year’s weekend.

“Resources are stretched thin, and Homicide Section has recently needed to lean on other investigative areas to keep pace and maintain our high investigative standards,” Zalaski said in a statement.

“Between the three suspicious deaths being investigated by Homicide Section, numerous other shootings, wielding of knives in public, and multiple incidents involving bear spray, it has been an exceptionally violent weekend in the city,” he added.

Edmonton Police are stretched across the city

Zalaski says investigators from other units are being pulled to support homicide teams.

“The one thing we will not sacrifice is the quality of our investigations,” he said at a media availability Tuesday afternoon. “That is priority number one. And yes, our homicide personnel are stretched to their max, but we do have other investigative areas that we can pull investigators from to assist.

“So we are holding the dam right now.”

When it comes to shootings, police have no “exact” answers as to why there was an increase last year. Zalaski said it might be related to socioeconomic conditions or organized crime and the drug trade.

EPS are asking anyone with information to contact them at 780-423-4567 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted online.

Zalaski said there are many times where cases are solved by key witnesses or critical tips from the public.

“The safety of the community is all of our responsibilities,” he added.”We would like to use the public as our eyes and ears and information in order to help us investigate and solve these things that are going on.”

Herb Jameison Shelter in central Edmonton

Officers were investigating in front of the Herb Jameison Shelter in central Edmonton on Monday, Jan. 2, 2022

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