‘THE CLOCK IS TICK­ING’

Edmonton clos­ing in on 2011’s record of 47 homi­cides

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS - Emma Graney

Edmonton is nine shy of its record 47 homi­cides, with more than three months left to hit or sur­pass the his­toric high set in 2011.

“This is Septem­ber. The clock is tick­ing,” re­tired Univer­sity of Al­berta crim­i­nol­o­gist Keith Spencer says of the city’s 38 homi­cides so far this year. “We’re go­ing to be close.”

Al­though Edmonton reg­u­larly takes the du­bi­ous dis­tinc­tion of mur­der cap­i­tal, or comes close, Spencer says the num­ber of homi­cides re­mains low.

“I’m not say­ing it’s nice to have these num­bers, but I don’t think they’re un­rea­son­able or that any­one has to be liv­ing in fear,” he said.

Spencer isn’t per­plexed by Edmonton’s homi­cide fig­ures sim­ply be­cause of the num­ber of risk fac­tors among the city’s pop­u­la­tion, com­pounded by the fact the city is sur­rounded by jails.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of re­leases in the Edmonton area take up res­i­dency here. They are high risk ... and they form a pool of prospec­tive dif­fi­cult peo­ple,” he said.

“Oc­ca­sion­ally there’s a do­mes­tic sit­u­a­tion where some­one kills their wife and three kids, but gen­er­ally speak­ing, over the longterm, we’ve got an eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion and pop­u­la­tion de­mo­graphic that sug­gests we can ex­pect a lot of mur­ders.”

The Edmonton Po­lice Ser­vice says there has been 35 homi­cides this year, but it doesn’t count two po­lice shoot­ings and a fa­tal hi­tand-run where charges were dropped.

Edmonton po­lice de­clined to com­ment on homi­cide num­bers.

Edmonton’s most re­cent killing was de­clared a homi­cide Fri­day, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber to 38. Nexhmi (Nick) Nuhi, 76, was shot through the out­side base­ment door of his Al­berta Av­enue room­ing house on Wed­nes­day.

1) Date: Aug. 2.

name: un­named male, 49. Cause of death: Stabbed in High­lands.

Sta­tus: Wil­liam John robert monkman, 33, wanted for se­cond-de­gree mur­der.

2) Date: Aug. 5.

name: peter penac, 31. Cause of death: Shot while sit­ting in­side his white Lexus in the res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood of athlone.

Sta­tus: In­ves­ti­ga­tion on­go­ing.

3) Date: Aug. 22.

name: Hunter brown, five months.

Cause of death: died from smoke in­hala­tion af­ter his home was set on fire in am­ble­side, in the city’s south­west.

Sta­tus: bron­son Woycenko, 19, charged with sec­ond­de­gree mur­der, ar­son and dis­re­gard for hu­man life. Jes­sica tam­merand, 18, charged with ar­son and dis­re­gard for hu­man life.

4) Date: Aug. 26.

name: Shardi abdi Has­san, 23.

Cause of death: Shot. Found slumped in a taxi out­side Flux ul­tra Lounge.

Sta­tus: In­ves­ti­ga­tion on­go­ing.

5) Date: Aug. 31.

name: Valerie mau­rice, 29. Cause of death: Found stran­gled in an evans­dale apart­ment.

Sta­tus: Gre­gory Christo­pher tess­man, 49, was ar­rested in Vancouver and charged with se­cond-de­gree mur­der.

6) Date: Sept. 9.

name: matt du­mas, 30. Cause of death: Shot by po­lice in the West­mount mcdon­ald’s park­ing lot.

Sta­tus: the al­berta Se­ri­ous In­ci­dent re­sponse team (aSIrt), which in­ves­ti­gates of­fi­cer-in­volved shoot­ings, is look­ing into the death. egraney@post­media.com @Em­maLgraney

There have been six other homi­cides since the be­gin­ning of Au­gust.

GrEG Southam

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate Edmonton’s lat­est homi­cide at 94 Street and 112 Av­enue on Wed­nes­day, where a man was shot through the out­side base­ment door of his room­ing house.

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