The Edmonton Police Service is set to reveal more about recent shooting and firearms trends Thursday morning.
Data compiled by the firearms investigation unit is set to be shared by the superintendent of EPS’ criminal investigations division.
Watch the news conference live on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca at 10 a.m.
The police service says it’s been fielding more inquiries after two high-profile shootings in March alone.
On March 12, six people were hurt and another person was killed in a shooting at a lounge near 124 Street and 118 Avenue. Between 60 and 70 bullets were believed to have been shot in the event, and two people were later charged.
One day later, disreputable landlord Abdullah Shah, formerly known as Carmen Pervez, was shot dead in the driveway of his south Edmonton home. Police are looking for the driver of an SUV that fled the area at a high rate of speed shortly after the shooting.
The shootings are not related, police say.
However, the service has noted an increase in gang-related homicides and firearms on Edmonton streets.
Of 150 shootings reported to police in 2021, 72 per cent were “targeted” and 47 per cent had “gang involvement.”
In nearly half of the shootings, there was the potential for innocent bystanders to be harmed.
Of the 29 shootings counted thus far in 2022, all but one are believed to have been “targeted.”
“What is unclear is whether these weapons have always been in circulation and just never got picked, or perhaps these are relatively new in terms of influx of weapons into Edmonton,” University of Alberta criminologist Tempitope Oriola commented.
He believes a temporary gun buy-back program – in which people would be paid according to the calibre of weapon then turn over, no questions asked – could help.
What doesn’t help, he noted, is being neighbours with a country which has an unprecedented level of shootings and related civilian fatalities.
“Part of the circumspection we have to exercise as Canadians is to ensure that we don’t make the United States our model. The U.S. is great on many, many things, but there are also instances where we need to look elsewhere.”
More to come…
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