A 21-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of a 44-year-old man in Edson, Alta., Early last month.
Just before 5:30 pm on November 4, RCMP was called into a shooting at a business on 50 Street in Edson. It happened on Indominus Sports.
Police say a man entered the building with a gun and tried to rob the business. During the robbery attempt, the suspect fired the weapon and struck an employee, according to RCMP.
The employee, identified by RCMP as Cordell Maclellan, 44, was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but died of his injuries.
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The RCMP said a second store employee, a 32-year-old Edson man, was assaulted during a physical altercation before the suspect fled the scene. The employee was treated but did not require hospital care, according to Insp. Rick Jané, operations officer for the southern branch of serious crimes of the Alberta RCMP.
Jané said the suspect left the scene in a stolen vehicle, which was unoccupied a short drive away within an hour. The firearm was left behind at the opening scene, according to RCMP.
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A further investigation led police to attempt to arrest the suspect on December 11 at around 4 p.m. However, Jané said the suspect fled to a wooded area north of Highway 16 and east of Highway 32 near Carrot Creek.
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With the help of the RCMP Police Dog Service, the Alberta RCMP Emergency Response Team, and Edmonton Police Service Air 1, the suspect was taken into custody around 6:40 p.m.
Brent Michael Dumas of Yellowhead County, Alta., Is charged with first degree murder, possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of a firearm contrary to a prohibition order, and assault with a weapon.
Jané said that talking about the motive for the crime “is a bit premature” and did not want to comment further.
During a press conference Monday afternoon, Jané also addressed a couple of concerns that the RCMP has heard from the public, one of which is that the police did not release a description of the suspect or a surveillance photo to the public.
“The researchers chose not to publish a description, as it would have been very vague if it had little investigative value. And although I cannot go into details or give an exact timeline, investigators had identified a potential suspect and we needed to carefully review the evidence and gather it to connect that person to the shooting, ”Jané said.
“When conducting any investigation, the police must assess what information we release to the public to protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial and maximize our ability to gather evidence.
“Publicly saying that we have a suspect before we can properly build a case and press charges can cause a suspect to flee or destroy evidence.”
Jané also addressed the fact that an emergency alert was not issued after the shooting. He said police did not have enough meaningful information to issue an emergency alert and that “there was nothing to suggest that there was an active and continuing threat to the general public outside of the fatal shooting.
“I am not saying there is no threat. Surveillance is always about managing risk and there are always potential threats, ”Jané said, adding that public safety is of paramount importance.
“We did not have a suspicious vehicle because we found it in an hour. We had no reason to believe that having been thwarted in his theft, he would immediately proceed to commit more crimes. If there were new reports of additional crimes being perpetrated, even if we did not know who was responsible, that would have been information that we would have evaluated to try to determine if we needed to explore an emergency alert.
“Had the circumstances been different or changed, the Alberta RCMP would certainly have issued an emergency alert.”
Edson is a city located about 200 miles west of Edmonton.
Dumas is scheduled to appear in Edson Provincial Court via CCTV on January 18, 2022.
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