Mac’s killings: Charges pending against 2 men, 13-year-old boy

Charges are pending against two men and a 13-year-old boy accused of gunning down two Mac’s convenience store employees in Edmonton during early morning robberies the police chief called “gratuitous” and “evil.

See Full Article

Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht told reporters Thursday that police received a signal from a personal alarm inside a convenience store around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning. After three phone calls were made to see whether it was a false alarm, a patrol car was sent.

When the police arrived less than 15 minutes after the alarm, they found a man who had been shot, Knecht said.

That man was Karanpal Singh Bhangu, 35, who later died in hospital from a gunshot wound to the stomach.

Around the same time police discovered Bhangu, they were alerted to a second victim at another store. A delivery man had “entered the (other Mac’s) store and noticed a trail of blood,” Knecht said.

That victim, 41, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Knecht said police used surveillance camera footage to identify three masked suspects, who were later spotted by police in a stolen vehicle and taken into custody. The vehicle was involved in a crash, he added.

“Neither of the victims offered any resistance to the robbers and posed no threat to them,” Knecht said.

"This was a barbaric and gratuitous act of violence upon two innocent persons resulting in a senseless loss of life,” he added, calling it “gratuitous, evil.”

The suspects’ names have not been released pending charges, but they are males aged 26, 24 and 13. They were “known to police.”

Knecht said the motive appears to be “simple robbery” and that the thieves would not likely have gotten away with much, because Mac’s employees deposit most cash in safes that night employees can’t open.

Knecht confirmed that no witnesses have yet come forward, suggesting each victim was working alone when the shootings occurred.

Third robbery

Edmonton convenience store owner Kashyap Pandit said his store was robbed by two masked men, one with a gun and the other with a knife, on Thursday evening around 8:15 p.m.

Pandit said that his wife, who recently immigrated from India and has limited English skills, was alone in the store when it happened.

“We are fortunate nothing happened physically to my wife,” he said, describing the robbery as “very scary.”

“They made her to open the till and whatever money was in the till, they took,” he said. “And they cut the phone wires, the cable lines.”

“They even took her cellphone so that she (could not) call the police,” he added.

Pandit said police had taken a report and asked for a copy of his security camera footage.

He said he had considered changing the store’s closing time to midnight, but had kept it at 8:30 p.m., partly out of concerns about the safety of staying open later.

Call for action

The Alberta Federation of Labour said the deaths are “a grim reminder that workers working retail in the middle of the night face greater risks of violence,” and called for stricter safety regulations.

“We know from experience that workers working in the middle of the night are at dramatically greater risk of violence,” Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said, according to the statement.

“Government has a responsibility to act.”

McGowan said Alberta should follow the lead of British Columbia, where all-night retail employers are required to have more than one person on duty at night, or put overnight employees working alone behind secure barriers.

McGowan also called for mandatory training for late-night retail employees on “how to deal with robberies and gas-and-dash situations” and “spot checks” to make sure safety rules are being followed.

Mac’s responds

A spokesperson for Mac’s issued a brief press release calling the deaths “sad.”

“My heart aches for the many lives impacted by this tragedy and especially for the families of the two victims,” said Mac’s Western Canada Vice-President of Operations Bonnie Birollo, according to the statement.

“We are doing all we can to support our people and to reach out to those in need."

With files from CTV Edmonton and CTV Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Seniors separated after decades of marriage 'desperate' to live together again

    Canada News CTV News
    Lorraine and Joe Papp have been married for 62 years, but for nearly the past two years they’ve been living under different roofs. Three years ago, the pair from Maple Ridge, B.C. moved into the assisted living facility Royal Crescent Gardens. Source
  • N.S. hoarder to learn if her home will be demolished

    Canada News CTV News
    A Cape Breton woman who is a self-confessed shopaholic and hoarder is trying save her home from demolition For more than four years, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality says they've been receiving complaints about the odour and rodents coming from the North Sydney home of Sylvia Dolomont. Source
  • Sessions says he's staying, will fight for Trump's agenda

    World News CTV News
    SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- His loyalty to the boss severely tested but seemingly intact, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will stay in the job for as long as U.S. President Donald Trump wants him to serve. Source
  • Barcelona train crash leaves at least 56 injured

    World News CBC News
    A Spanish commuter train crashed into a buffer early Friday at a station in northeastern Barcelona, tossing passengers to the floor and leaving 56 people injured, officials said. Regional health chief Antoni Comi said 54 people in all received medical treatment, with 51 taken to city hospitals. Source
  • Peaceful prayers at Jerusalem holy site, West Bank violence

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Muslim prayers at a major Jerusalem shrine ended peacefully Israeli police said Friday but violence continued in the West Bank where a Palestinian was killed attacking soldiers as forces were on high alert following two weeks of violence over the sacred site, holy to both Muslims and Jews. Source
  • Utah woman killed on cruise described as trusted adviser

    World News CTV News
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A Utah real estate agent killed on an Alaska cruise was remembered by her employer as a trusted adviser and valued sales associate. Kristy Manzanares was found dead Tuesday night as the cruise ship Emerald Princess travelled between Ketchikan and Juneau. Source
  • Spanish train crashes in Barcelona station; 53 hospitalized [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    BARCELONA, Spain — Some 50 people received medical treatment after a Spanish commuter train crashed into the buffers in a station in northeastern Barcelona early Friday, Catalan government officials said. Regional health chief Antoni Comi said 54 people in all received medical treatment, with 51 taken to city hospitals. Source
  • ‘Ma’am, you have a what?!’: Unheard of 911 call in Ohio after boa constrictor attacks owner

    World News Toronto Sun
    playpausestopmuteunmute Hear the distressing 911 call SHEFFIELD LAKE, Ohio — Authorities say firefighters have rescued an Ohio woman after a boa constrictor wrapped around her neck and began biting her face. Source
  • 77-pound tortoise reunited with NY family after wandering away

    World News Toronto Sun
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS First posted: Friday, July 28, 2017 08:17 AM EDT | Updated: Friday, July 28, 2017 09:07 AM EDT Source
  • Russia dismisses new sanctions, orders U.S. diplomat cuts

    World News Toronto Sun
    MOSCOW — Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday ordered a reduction in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia and said it was closing down a U.S. recreation retreat in response to fresh sanctions against Russia. The U.S. Source