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Canada-wide warrants issued for 19-year-old man in connection with Edmonton extortions, Winnipeg shooting

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The Edmonton Police Service has issued Canada-wide warrants for a man believed to be involved in an ongoing extortion investigation in Edmonton, as well as a shooting in Winnipeg.

Arjun Sahnan, 19, is wanted in connection with two drive-by shootings believed to be connected with the extortion investigation, and a shooting in Winnipeg on Dec. 24, 2023.

Dec. 21, 2023

Shots were fired at an upstairs bedroom window of a home in the Cy Becker neighbourhood in Edmonton at 2:50 a.m.

No one was injured. Six people, including two children, were asleep in the home at the time of the shooting.

"They're purposely targeting master bedrooms where people are sleeping," Staff Sgt. Eric Stewart told reporters in Edmonton on Tuesday.

"Kids are in these residences. They don't know who is inside these residences when they start firing rounds at these houses. So very scary. Very brazen and very careless."  

Dec. 24, 2023

At 8:45 p.m., shots were fired at a house in northwest Winnipeg occupied by several people.

One bullet went through a bedroom, narrowly missing a person inside, before passing through a connecting wall into another occupied room.

No one was injured.

Police say the shooting was captured by security cameras in the area.

A vehicle stops in front of a Winnipeg home before shots are fired at the house. (Credit: Edmonton Police Service)

A black SUV believed to be involved in the shooting had no front licence plate, which is unusual in Manitoba but standard in Alberta.

An SUV believed to be involved in a shooting in Winnipeg on April 30, 2024. (Credit: Edmonton Police Service)

Investigators are looking for information about the SUV.

Police have also released surveillance images of a second person believed to be involved in the Winnipeg shooting in hopes of identifying him.

An unknown person believed to be involved in a shooting in Winnipeg on Dec. 24, 2023. (Credit: Edmonton Police Service)

In both incidents, attempts were made to extort the homeowner for money before the shooting.

This is the first known instance of an extortion-related crime happening in Winnipeg.

Stewart says the victim is believed to have ties to the South Asian community in Edmonton.

"I can tell you [they're] connected to a home builder in Edmonton. And that's as far as I know."

Dec. 29, 2023

Shots were fired at an unoccupied house in the Fountain Creek neighbourhood of Sherwood Park, just outside Edmonton.

A bullet went through a window into a child's playroom and hit a toybox.

No one was injured.

A suspect vehicle was captured on security cameras in the area.

Police say the homeowner had not been threatened, and investigators believe the shooter may have targeted the wrong house.

"These individuals sometimes don't do a very good job of planning out some of these events. And in this case, we believe they just got the wrong house," Stewart commented.

The EPS Firearms Investigation Unit has determined the same gun was used in all three shootings.

Arjun Sahnan is in India: police

Investigators say Sahnan left Canada for India on a flight booked before the shootings in Winnipeg and Sherwood Park.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact police.

"As far as we know he is now in India. I strongly urge him to come back to Canada to face his charges," Stewart advised. "Regardless of whether he complies, we know who he is, and fleeing to another country will not stop us from attempting to locate him."

Stewart noted EPS is working with its federal counterparts to locate Sahnan, adding if he does return to the country, the Canada-wide warrant will allow authorities in other jurisdictions to arrest him.

In addition to the two shootings in the Edmonton area where Sahnan is wanted, police are also investigating 32 other incidents of attempted extortions, shootings and fires targeting the South Asian home-building community in Edmonton.

The incidents happened between October 2023 and January 2024.

The investigation has been dubbed Project Gaslight.

Investigators believe the crimes have been carried out by young men from the Edmonton area, but are being orchestrated by someone outside the country.

"In my opinion, they're being exploited to carry out these acts, and someone who was not in this country is benefiting from that," Stewart said. "I think the message is pretty clear. If you're going to commit one of these offences, and you're going to work for this individual, understand the consequences that follow."

As part of the investigation police executed search warrants and arrested a person in connection to a Jan. 10 drive-by shooting at a Cy Becker neighbourhood occupied by a family with children.

No one was injured, but police recovered bullets from inside the home.

Police had previously issued a release about the shooting looking for information about a suspect vehicle, which has since been identified.

The gun used in the shooting still hasn't been found.

Anyone with information about any of the crimes is asked to contact EPS at 780-423-4567, at projectgaslight@edmontonpolice.ca, or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. 

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