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

  • Sleeping Edmonton man wakes up to truck crashing through bedroom

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A 25-year-old Edmonton man snoozing on what should have been a lazy weekend morning woke to the sound of twisting metal and concrete after a truck crashed through his bedroom wall. "I woke up panicked," said Kyle Roach, noting it happened around 8 a.m. Source
  • Road to recovery: Make-A-Wish gives child with cancer RV for camping adventure

    Canada News CTV News
    A three-year-old New Brunswick girl is about to realize her dream of hitting the open road with her family on a series of unforgettable summer camping trips after a long and difficult battle with cancer. Source
  • Deadly storms in Texas kill at least 4, injure dozens

    World News CBC News
    Severe storms including tornadoes swept through several small towns in East Texas, killing at least four people and injuring dozens more, and leaving a trail of overturned vehicles, mangled trees and damaged homes, authorities said Sunday. Source
  • Swimmer injured in shark attack at Southern California beach

    World News CTV News
    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- A shark attacked a woman wading in the ocean with friends, tearing away part of her upper thigh in the ocean off a popular Southern California beach, authorities and witnesses said Sunday. Source
  • Threat of economic turmoil over softwood tariff becomes B.C. election issue

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- A hefty American tariff on Canadian softwood could be devastating for British Columbia's economy, but it may also be advantageous for political leaders on the campaign trail who are looking to cement or build their images with voters, says a former premier. Source
  • Trump blames China for campaign hacking, warns over North Korea

    World News CBC News
    President Donald Trump said China may have hacked the emails of Democratic officials to meddle with the 2016 presidential election, countering the view of U.S. intelligence officials who have said Moscow orchestrated the hacks. In an interview transcript published on Sunday, Trump gave no evidence backing his allegation, first made on the eve of the Nov. Source
  • Police officer in gorilla costume crawls entire London Marathon

    World News CBC News
    An English policeman wearing a gorilla costume while crawling the London Marathon has finally finished the race, almost a week after starting. Metropolitan Police officer Tom Harrison, who goes by the name "Mr. Gorilla," raised a reported 26,000 pounds ($45,991.90 Cdn) for the Gorilla Organization, which is dedicated to conserving gorillas in countries including Rwanda and Uganda. Source
  • Calgary girl, 3, in desperate need of expensive cancer treatment

    Canada News CTV News
    If music could cure cancer, three-year-old Greta Marofke wouldn't have any problem. As it stands, the little tyke and her parents are now significantly closer to paying for costly surgery that could save her life, thanks to the efforts of the Calgary community this weekend. Source
  • 'We want to bring them home': Fort Chipewyan continues search for missing hunters

    Canada News CBC News
    Hunters from Fort Chipewyan, Alta., usually start their spring hunt each April. South winds warm the air, the ice on Lake Athabasca melts, the rivers begin to flow and hunters head to their trap lines. Source
  • Canadian minimum wage workers say they're surviving rather than living

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - Erendira Achati Keriti needed winter clothes, but she knew she couldn't afford to buy them new. She managed to save enough money to buy second-hand garments, only to find they'd already been snapped up by the time she made it back to the thrift store. Source