ALBERTA

Lindsey Bruno Wanted On Canada-Wide Warrant For Alberta Shooting

02/08/2013 06:18 EST | Updated 04/10/2013 05:12 EDT
RCMP
HOBBEMA, Alta. - The RCMP are asking for the public's help to find a suspect in the shooting death of a teenager on a troubled central Alberta reserve.

Police say a Canada-wide warrant has been issued for the arrest of 19-year-old Lindsey Bruno of Hobbema.

Mounties say Bruno should not be approached.

Anyone who has seen him or knows where he is should call authorities immediately.

Levonne Baptiste, who was 16, was shot and killed in the Samson Cree townsite last Saturday.

An RCMP spokesman says the community has shown tremendous support for the investigation.

“It’s as a direct result of their willingness to work with the police that we were able to lay charges this quickly,” Insp. Charles Wood said in a release Friday.

“These charges send a strong message that the people of Hobbema have chosen to break down the wall of silence."

The reserve about 90 kilometres south of Edmonton has struggled with drug- and gang-related violence over the years. Police said last week that the latest killing may not have been random and they would look into a possible gang connection.

Investigators have found it difficult over the years to follow cases because no witnesses would come forward.

Efforts to change that began about two years ago. Reserve residents voted for an eviction bylaw that allows leaders to ban suspected gang members from the community, although the bylaw is not yet in force because administrative issues are still being worked out.

The ban followed the death of five-year-old Ethan Yellowbird, who was hit in the head by a stray bullet while he slept in a home on the reserve in 2011. Three teens have pleaded guilty to manslaughter for Ethan's death and are awaiting sentencing.

Wood said last fall that since Ethan's death, people on the reserve have been working well with the RCMP. He said gang activity remains prevalent, but violence is not as bad as it was in 2011.

The use of weapons is down, Wood said, as is the number of drive-by shootings.

Officers are still working to solve the death of Ethan's aunt, Chelsea Yellowbird, who was shot outside a house two months after the boy was killed.

In 2008, 23-month old Asia Saddleback was shot as she sat at a kitchen table eating dinner. She survived, but the bullet remained lodged between her liver and spine.

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