Gun pointed at West Edmonton Mall security, shoppers before incident on ETS bus: police
Police have released details about two incidents last week where a firearm was allegedly pointed at a bus driver, and say one of the individuals has been arrested and charged.
Around 2:40 p.m. on Jan. 13, West Edmonton Mall security escorted a man out of the mall for trespassing.
According to Edmonton Police Service, the man then pulled a sawed-off shotgun out of his backpack and pointed it at the security staff and nearby shoppers.
The man put the gun back in his backpack and ran northbound and got on an ETS bus, police said.
While on the bus, police claim he pulled out the gun again, but did not point it at anyone.
Shortly after, he got off the bus in the area of 178 Street and 89 Avenue and ran into a nearby backyard.
The homeowner confronted the man, and he pointed the gun at the homeowner before running from the scene, EPS said.
Police arrived and attempted to track the man with the help of the canine unit, but were unable to locate him.
On Jan. 15, police got a call from ETS security who said the man was at Belvedere Transit Station.
Officers arrived and arrested the 29-year-old man.
He has been charged with four counts of assault with a weapon, possession of a dangerous weapon, four counts of pointing a firearm, and unauthorized possession of a firearm in a vehicle, among other charges.
Police say intoxication is believed to be a factor.
The second incident also happened on Jan. 13.
Around 5:40 p.m., police were called to Coliseum LRT station after receiving a report that a man got off a bus and pointed a firearm at the bus driver before leaving the area on foot.
No injuries were reported, and no one else was on the bus.
'A GUN PROBLEM IN OUR CITY'
Police say they take gun events in the city very seriously.
“When you’re in a public setting and an individual is flashing or pointing a firearm at you, it is terrifying. What led up to that individual doing that, we don’t know right now,” Staff Sgt. Eric Stewart said Thursday.
“It’s concerning, there’s no way to sugar coat that. We do our best to respond accordingly and hold these people accountable. We want to hold people accountable who decide to commit gun crime in our city.”
Stewart says firearm incidents on transit are uncommon.
“I don’t want anybody to panic and say we have an issue with firearms on transit, we don’t see that at all.”
But he admits gun crime is up in Edmonton.
“We can’t hide the numbers. There’s definitely a gun problem in our city. It’s disconcerting to us, it’s concerning for everybody. We’re doing our best to tackle that.”
But he says the service just doesn’t have enough resources.
“Sure, would we like to be there all the time to be able to have a presence, sure, but there’s a lot of work going on in the city and there’s a lot of investigations to be had, so there’s only so many members to do it.”
Edmonton police responded to 165 shootings in 2022.
The union that represents the transit operators involved in the two incidents say while both men were traumatized, they are recovering and receiving support.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Rob McAnally and David Ewasuk.
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