Very Bad, Armoured Car Robbery, Inside Job, Three Dead, One Critical, Guard Missing!
Edmonton police say an employee of G4S Security faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with a deadly robbery in which three of his fellow guards were killed and another wounded early Friday morning at the University of Alberta.
Edmonton police announced around 3 p.m. MT that they are filing Canada-wide warrants for Travis Brandon Baumgartner, 21.
Baumgartner, who was earlier identified as a person of interest in the case, is now considered a suspect. He was one of five G4S guards making a delivery to a bank ATM on the university campus.
"With the approval of the Crown, we now believe that we have reasonable and probable grounds that this is the person who is responsible for this horrific and terrible crime," said Supt. Bob Hassel from the criminal investigations division.
Michelle Shegelski was named as one of the employees of G4S who was slain early Friday at the University of Alberta. Michelle Shegelski was named as one of the employees of G4S who was slain early Friday at the University of Alberta. (Facebook)
Police are describing Baumgartner as "armed and dangerous" and urged anyone who encounters him to use extreme caution and contact them immediately.
Police are looking for Baumgartner following the shooting that happened as guards were making a delivery to a bank on the university campus, said Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht earlier on Friday
"This can only be described as horrific act of violence," Knecht said.
CBC News has confirmed that Brian Ilesic, Michelle Shegelski and Eddie Rejano were the three guards who were killed.
Shegelski's mother-in-law, Henrietta Shegelski, said Michelle just married her son in April.
"She was really Victor's soulmate. He was so in love with her," Shegelski said. "He's devastated. She was just such a beautiful person. So friendly. So alive. So full of fun. Everybody that knew her loved her."
The couple met three years ago when Victor was working for G4S after serving in Afghanistan. He left the company to go back to school.
"They loved hiking and going outdoors together and rock climbing … just did everything together," Shegelski said. "They were just so well-suited for each other."
Ilesic, 35, had only been working for G4S for several months, his brother Keith told CBC News. The family expressed their grief in a written statement sent Friday night.
Brian Ilesic, 35, had been working at G4S for a few months. He is shown here with his 12-year-old daughter in a picture sent by his family.Brian Ilesic, 35, had been working at G4S for a few months. He is shown here with his 12-year-old daughter in a picture sent by his family. (Courtesy of the Ilesic family)
"We are deeply saddened and shocked by today’s events and are trying to deal with it as best we can. Our hearts go out to the other families that have also been affected," the statement said.
"Brian was deeply loved by his family and friends and leaves behind a 12-year-old daughter. We feel very blessed that he was in our lives, although taken from us much too soon.
"Brian was always a joy to be around. He will be missed dearly and will forever be in our prayers. Brian had many hopes and dreams ... due to today’s tragedy his hopes and dreams are no longer possible. We ask God to take care of him now."
Shots heard after midnight
Baumgartner is thought to be driving a dark blue Ford F-150, with licence plate number ZRE 724. Knecht said the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. border security are also involved in the search.
Police placed a roadblock around Baumgartner's home in Sherwood Park, east of Edmonton, Friday afternoon. Members of the RCMP emergency response team could be seen coming from the street where he lives.
This picture of the scene, taken by a student in one of the residences, shows the north side of HUB Mall where the shootings took place.This picture of the scene, taken by a student in one of the residences, shows the north side of HUB Mall where the shootings took place. (Facebook)
Police located a G4S armoured van, abandoned and empty, about 70 blocks east of the university, and less than 200 metres away from the company's Edmonton property. It wasn't immediately clear whether it was related to the shooting, but officers were treating it as a crime scene.
The shooting took place after midnight MT inside HUB Mall, which contains retail stores and restaurants on the first floor and several storeys of student residences. The north end of the mall, where the shooting took place, has at least four automated teller machines in a small area.
"Tactical were called out, as were canine unit … Homicide has been called out," said police spokesperson Scott Pattison.
“What I can tell you is that three people are dead.”
Robin Steinberg, a spokesperson for the security company, told CBC News: "Our hearts go out to our victims' families and to all our employees at the Edmonton branch. It is just devastating .… This is the most difficult thing our company has ever had to deal with."
Steinberg said the employees who were killed would have been armed while on the job.
Student Ravedh Seeberath told CBC News that he heard shots around 12:30 a.m. MT while studying in the mall.
"As I was walking down, that's when about 30 tactical officers were rushing toward me, passing me with complete firearms … the whole works, and police dogs," he said.
"That's when I went back to my books, grabbed what I could, and told the other ladies in that little study area that we should get out of there."
'Busting down the door'
The bodies were reportedly found by volunteers from Safewalk, an organization that provides escorts to students on campus at night.
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The volunteers apparently investigated after hearing a thud to find a wounded man behind a locked door beside a bank of ATMs in the mall.
They then contacted campus security.
Ian Breitzke, 21, watched from his window as police arrived at the scene.
"They end up busting down the door and ended up pulling out all the bodies that were in there. They pulled out a couple that I could see were dead," he said.
"A few moments after that they pulled out the man who was still alive … EMS ended up taking him to hospital."
Security guard now suspect in University of Alberta shootings - Edmonton - CBC News