Suspects in Edmonton holdups include 13-year-old

EDMONTON -- Charges are pending against two men and a 13-year-old boy after two convenience store employees were gunned down by masked thieves in Edmonton.

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Police say the attacks at two Mac's stores early Friday happened 15 minutes apart and several blocks away.

The other suspects are 26 and 24 years old.

The suspects were arrested after officers spotted them in a stolen vehicle outside a third Mac's store and gave chase.

Patrol cars had been sent to other Mac's stores in the city as a precaution when an SUV matching a description of the suspect vehicle was identified.

Arrests were made after a brief police chase along Whitemud Drive, a major city freeway, that ended underneath an overpass when the suspect vehicle crashed.

"This was a barbaric and gratuitous act of violence upon two innocent persons resulting in a senseless loss of life," police Chief Rod Knecht said at a late-afternoon news conference.

"This is very rare that we see this kind of senseless and random violence in our city. Still, two innocent people lost their lives today and there are family members here and overseas that will have their holiday season devastated at this news. We should be outraged as a community."

The first victim was found after an emergency alarm was sounded. Officers found the injured clerk and began CPR until paramedics could take over.

Karanpal Singh Bhangu, 35, was rushed to hospital, but died of his injuries.

The second employee was found dead in the back room of the second store by a delivery man. The 41-year-old man, whose name is not being released until family can be notified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"From the video evidence we have seen, it is clear that neither of the victims offered any resistance to the robbers and posed no threat to them," Knecht said.

All the suspects have criminal records and evidence found Friday potentially links them to other robberies in the Edmonton area, Knecht said.

The chief said there would have been minimal amounts of cash at each location at that time of day.


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