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

  • Standoff on Hawaii mountain is about more than a telescope

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- Walter Ritte has been fighting for decades to protect Native Hawaiian rights, inspiring a new generation of activists trying to stop construction of a giant telescope they see as representative of a bigger struggle. Source
  • Air Force to end search for Stephane Roy, son

    Canada News CTV News
    The Royal Canadian Air Force says it will spend one final day searching for a missing Quebec businessman and his son before handing the case over to the provincial police. Stephane Roy and his 14-year-old son Justin were reported missing on July 11 after failing to return home from a fishing trip in Lac de la Bidiere, a remote area in the upper Laurentians regions west of La Tuque, Que. Source
  • Scotland Yard Twitter and emails hacked

    World News CTV News
    London's Metropolitan Police apologised Saturday after its Twitter, emails and news pages were targeted by hackers and began pumping out a series of bizarre messages. After a series of messages late Friday that read simply "test" or seemingly random letters, the police sites began using foul language with anti-police sentiment and calling for a jailed rapper to be released. Source
  • Germany marks 75th anniversary of plot to kill Hitler

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Europeans to confront populism, nationalism, racism and anti-Semitism as she paid tribute to the Nazi resistance in her own country. Speaking Saturday at a solemn ceremony marking the anniversary of the failed attempt to kill Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, Merkel said the courage and sacrifice of the conspirator should serve as an example to people today. Source
  • Friends, community gather to celebrate legacy of Hodan Nalayeh

    Canada News CBC News
    Members of the Somali community in Edmonton organized a memorial Friday for the woman who dedicated her life to telling their stories. Local politicians, community leaders and high school friends were among the roughly 50 people who gathered to mourn and celebrate Hodan Nalayeh, the beloved Canadian-Somali journalist. Source
  • Monsoon flooding death toll climbs to 164 in South Asia

    World News CTV News
    GAUHATI, India -- The death toll in monsoon flooding in South Asia has climbed past 160 as millions of people and animals continue to face the brunt in three countries, officials said Saturday. At least 90 people have died in Nepal and 62 in northeastern India's Assam state over the past week. Source
  • Hong Kong police seize explosives ahead of weekend protests

    World News CTV News
    HONG KONG -- Police in Hong Kong discovered a stash of a powerful homemade explosive as the semi-autonomous Chinese city readied for another major pro-democracy protest on Sunday. Police said they found about 2 kilograms of TATP and arrested a man in a raid on a commercial building late Friday night. Source
  • Are food politics defeating Canada's healthy eating strategy?

    Canada News CBC News
    This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of eclectic and under-the-radar health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every Saturday morning. If you haven't subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here. Source
  • Iran tanker seizure linked to earlier act by U.K. marines

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Taken on its own, Iran's seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz may seem like a brazen act of aggression, a provocative poke in the nose to both Britain and its ally, the United States. Source
  • Monsoon flooding death toll rises to 152 in South Asia

    World News CBC News
    The death toll in monsoon flooding in South Asia has risen to 152 as millions of people and animals continue to face the brunt in three countries, officials said Saturday. At least 90 people have died in Nepal and 50 in northeastern India's Assam state over the past week. Source