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Safety concerns aired in wake of Kingsway Mall shooting, lockdown


Shoppers outside the latest Edmonton mall to see gun-related violence and a lockdown say they're worried about public safety following recent incidents at local shopping destinations.

Seth Ronning said he is "definitely concerned" when he heard about Tuesday night's shooting in the parking lot of Kingsway Mall, where he was shopping on Wednesday.

"It seems like it's getting worse and worse as we go along," said Ronning, a southsider who decided to "switch it up" and shop at Kingsway instead of his usual Southgate.

Lisa Waldvauer, shopping at the central Edmonton destination while visiting the city from Mundare, finds the situation "a little bit scary."

"You want to be able to come out and to a public setting like a mall and feel safe," she told CTV News Edmonton.

Dakota Grey, 28, is facing more than 20 criminal charges following a shooting and carjacking Tuesday night outside Kingsway Mall.

Dakota Grey, 28, was charged in connection with a shooting and carjacking outside Kingsway Mall. (Source: Facebook)

One man is in hospital in non-life-threatening condition after he was shot outside Walmart in the mall's parking lot.

The mall was secured and locked down as a precaution. Events surrounding the shooting started at 7:15 p.m.

Edmonton police said Wednesday in a media release Grey approached multiple people, shot a man unlocking his bicycle and stole a white GMC truck. The woman driving the truck was able to escape.

Police say Grey fled eastbound on Princess Elizabeth Avenue before colliding with a building on the southeast corner of the traffic circle at 118 Avenue and 101 Street. He fled the scene and was quickly caught by police, who came across the collision on their way to Kingsway Mall, said the release.

Grey had multiple rounds of ammunition, a sawed-off shotgun and 27 grams of methamphetamine, police said. He faces charges including two counts of robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault, dangerous driving, failing to remain at the scene of a collision, possession of stolen property, nine other firearms-related charges and two breaches of release order.

At the time of the offences, Grey was on a release order for aggravated assault, and the order included a weapons prohibition. He also has a previous lifetime firearms prohibition.

Dakota Grey, 28, was charged in connection with a shooting and carjacking outside Kingsway Mall. (Source: Facebook)

Edmonton Police Service Supt. Keith Johnson said the decision to lock down a building is based on assessments by experienced officers on the scene and are made in the interest of public safety.

"Priority of life is paramount, and when these sorts of incidents occur, and we do have to lock down in order to make people feel safe, that allows us to properly assess and determine where the subjects and the assailants are so we can deal with them accordingly," Johnson told CTV News Edmonton, referencing both Tuesday's incident at Kingsway and a lockdown at West Edmonton Mall on Saturday that led to arrests.

Criminologist Temitope Oriola told CTV News Edmonton that while the lockdowns at malls and the recent spate of violence have "a negative effect on people's perceptions of safety," the city "remains fundamentally safe."

"Canada remains by far and away one of the safest countries in the world .... but incidents such as those would question that assertion, question the reality the fact of things because you can't assure folks that they are safe when you're witnessing this shooting," said Oriola, who is based at the University of Alberta.

Playing devil's advocate, Oriola added that "crime in society is inevitable."

"To put it very harshly, the role of the police is essentially to make the situation manageable," he said.

"No police service can come out to tell you that they will eradicate crime. They can only keep it to a bare minimum. I believe that there is a level of expectation management that is required in all of this. That's not to deny the reality, but it is to share information with the public ... to avoid exacerbating the fear that people may have because this is relatively strange to have this regular stream of violent incidents."

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said addressing the rise in violent incidents goes beyond local law enforcement to the justice system.

"What we can do is add more resources in enforcement, which we have, but enforcement is not the only solution or the solution in itself," Sohi told reporters Wednesday at city hall. "We need interventions. We need stronger gun laws."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nav Sangha, Brandon Lynch, Dave Mitchell and Jeremy Thompson Top Stories

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