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Police investigating Edmonton's 45th homicide
Julia Parrish, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Monday, December 19, 2011 8:35AM MST
A young man is dead, and a playground has been taped off after shots rang out in a west-end neighbourhood late Wednesday night.
Police said they were called to the area of Picard Drive in the Lewis Estates neighbourhood just after 11 p.m. Wednesday.
"Police responded to multiple phone calls of a man suffering from gunshot wounds in a playground," Inspector Brian Nowlan said. "Upon arrival we found a man lying in the snow."
Police said he succumbed to his injuries in hospital at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday.
Friends tell CTV News the victim lived near the park where he was found.
Residents of the upscale neighbourhood were shocked to wake up to a crime scene in the popular playground, but some said they have seen some suspicious vehicles in the area before.
"We do every now and then see cars that really don't belong around here," Resident Don Ast said.
Ast believes drug deals have taken place in the area.
Other residents said there had been some criminal activity in the area, but it had never escalated this far.
"There's a little bit of breaking in of cars and that sort of stuff," Burnadene Ebanks said. "I've never heard of anything like this happening before."
One resident told CTV News an officer woke him up early Thursday morning.
"It was the police," Dennis Tidball, a resident whose home backs onto the park where the shooting occurred said. "They were just asking if we'd seen or heard anything."
Police have released few details of the incident, but Tidball said the officer he spoke to suggested gang members may have been involved.
"He mentioned it might have been a gang thing."
An autopsy was performed later in the day, but the results have not been released. Police have not confirmed the victim's identity.
Investigators said they have interviewed witnesses, but have not made any arrests.
With files from Susan Amerongen