Investigators believe a man and his 11-year-old son were both intentionally shot and killed in a vehicle in southeast Edmonton on Thursday, according to police.
Acting Supt. Colin Derksen with the Edmonton Police Service held a news conference about the killings on Friday morning.
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Police have identified the father killed as 41-year-old Harpreet Uppal, who they allege was a gang member involved in the drug trade.
Derksen did not identify the boy who was killed but noted investigators believe he was not mistakenly caught in the line of fire, and instead was deliberately shot.
He added that a friend of the boy who was killed was also in the car. That boy was not physically hurt.
Derksen said there had been previous attempts on Harpreet Uppal’s life, including at a pizza restaurant two years ago where he was shot at.
“The landscape has changed,” Derksen told reporters. “There’s no longer any respect for children, families or innocent bystanders amongst our gangsters when they carry out violence to further their own interests.
“It’s understandable that Edmontonians are shaken today.”
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He noted the shooting occurred in broad daylight in a busy area with a daycare nearby.
“Even though this was a targeted event, the risk to the public was significant… and terrifying,” Derksen said, adding that investigators are still working to track down the suspect(s) and to determine what motivated the deadly attack.
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Because of what Derksen said investigators know about Harpreet Uppal, he said there are possible scenarios that detectives are exploring.
“Often the motivation is a struggle for power … sometimes it’s just retaliation,” Derksen said. “We don’t know what the exact motivation was … We just know from experience … it’s going to have something to do with the drug and gang industry.”
More to come…
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