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Ballistics confirm link between Pizza Hut, Edmonton police shootings

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Edmonton Police Service investigators believe the 16-year-old boy who fatally shot two EPS officers is the same person who shot a Pizza Hut employee. 

Constables Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan were shot when they attended a family dispute call at the Baywood Park apartment complex at 132 Street and 114 Avenue just after midnight on March 16.

The 16-year-old boy who shot the officers then shot his mother multiple times in a struggle over the firearm, before killing himself, EPS said, adding no other person fired a gun during the event.

The teen's mother is currently in hospital in serious, but stable condition.

On March 12, a Pizza Hut employee was shot while working at the restaurant at 133 Street and 114 Avenue, just one block from the apartment complex.

Security video from the attack shows the shooter entering the restaurant and waving a long-barrel gun, before shooting the employee.

He remains in hospital in critical, but stable condition.

Investigators now say the shooter escaped from the restaurant and ran toward the complex, which is made up of over a dozen buildings, but police were not able to locate him.

"There’s literally 700 residences, and there's a lot of buildings that are right there, so nothing actually was tracked to that building at all," Deputy Chief Devin Laforce told reporters at a news conference on Thursday afternoon. 

'THE SAME GUN'

Police say a bullet found at that shooting scene has been forensically matched to a firearm that was found at the apartment where the two officers were shot.

"Investigators believe the suspect in the March 12 shooting to be the same male responsible for the deaths of the two EPS members on March 16," Laforce said.

"The same gun was used in both events, and at this time we don’t have any information that links the gun to any other crimes."

Police are still trying to determine how the teen came to be in possession of the gun, and say that's part of the reason they have not made his identity public.

"How did a 16-year-old obtain this gun? Working backwards, whoever he got that gun from probably faces some criminal jeopardy, and we’re working backwards to try and figure out what that looks like," Laforce said.

Investigators say there was no information to suggest the teen's parents, police dispatch, or Contables Ryan or Jordan knew there was a firearm in the home when the two officers responded to the call.

MOTHER COOPERATING

The teen's parents, including his father, who was also in the apartment at the time of the shooting, are cooperating with the investigation, Laforce said, adding his mother is not yet able to speak.

"She can't talk, so right now the communication has been by written communication. Obviously we want to continue to interview her, and that’s going to happen when she’s released. She’s expected to recover."

Autopsy results released on Thursday concluded the teen died from a single gunshot wound to the head, which was called consistent with being self-inflicted.

Investigators say it will take more time to receive toxicology reports on the teen, so it's too early to know if he had any substances in his system at the time of the shootings.

Police also confirmed Thursday that the teen had been taken into custody under the Mental Health Act after a call to the apartment in November 2022.

"We can now share that this youth was apprehended under the Mental Health Act by our officers, and that was after consultation with our PACT, our Police and Crisis Teams," said Supt. Shane Perka. "The youth was then transported to the hospital for assessment. I can’t speak any further as to the outcome of that assessment."

Perka added police have yet to obtain full details about the teen's medical history.

Investigators are also in the process of investigating the teen's electronic devices, which they believe might shed light on a motive for the shootings.

"There's other exhibit items, such as our shooter’s phone and a computer that we're actively searching and trying to get into, and as we learn more we'll have some answers we hope." 

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