The Calgary media reported that ninety-five shootings occurred in the city in 2015 – twice as many as in 2014 – and police investigators said that half the incidents were related to organized crime. Fifteen people were killed in those shootings. The police believe that the violence erupted in a conflict between two groups involved in the drug trade. Then, on May 3, 2016, Calgary police commenced a string of arrests that concluded over the following week when search warrants were executed at three city residences. Eight men were arrested. A has been jointly charged with various other defendants in a direct Indictment alleging multiple counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and criminal organization offences. The lengthy investigation included the implementation of three wiretap authorizations during the fall of 2015 that identified eight targets. The police suspect there are more sides to the gang war that requires the use of ongoing labour intensive techniques. A date for pretrial motions has been scheduled in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary.
The defendant was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault when Q was shot outside a downtown Edmonton nightclub. Q had left the club and walked into the parking lot after an altercation inside with the defendant. A gun shot rang out from the rear passenger window of a car in the parking lot. Q was struck in the head and the vehicle sped away from the scene. During the trial, Q testified that he saw “a glimpse” of the defendant in the back seat and he recognized the defendant’s voice when he called Q’s name just before the shooting. M, the driver, testified that the defendant got into the back seat of his car with another man. He said he saw the defendant lean out of the rear window with his arm “wrapped in a sweater” and then he heard a “pop”. Under cross-examination by Mr. Rice, Q admitted that he told the police he could not recognize the man’s voice and M admitted that he lied to the police when he told them repeatedly that the shooter was a drug dealer named “Suk”. In his closing address to the jury, Mr. Rice argued that M was an admitted liar and that Q was not a reliable witness because of his prior inconsistent statement to the police. The jury returned verdicts of not guilty on both counts.