NEWS

Derek Bond, David Wynn shooting leaves St. Albert, Alta. struggling with aftermath

01/18/2015 03:23 EST | Updated 03/20/2015 05:59 EDT
A small collection of flowers and letters lie in the snow outside the RCMP detachment in St. Albert, Alta. — a show of support following the shooting of two officers in a casino early Saturday morning.

Aux. Const. Derek Walter Bond and Const. David Matthew Wynn were both shot around 3 a.m. MT Saturday inside the Apex Casino in the Edmonton suburb.

The officers were confronting a suspect about a stolen vehicle found near the casino. Both were sent to hospital with serious injuries; Bond was released later in the day, while Wynn remains in "very grave" condition, according to RCMP.

The shootings left city residents like Gay Ripley shocked. The "family-oriented" community isn’t accustomed to that level of violence, she says.

"I was devastated, it’s horrible. St. Albert is supposed to be such a safe place," she said.

"You thought that it wouldn’t happen here."

Saturday’s incident is just one of the latest shootings of RCMP officers in Alberta in the past decade.

Last year, a shoot-out in St. Paul wounded three RCMP officers and ended with two other people, including the gunman, dead.

Two officers were also wounded in a shooting in Killam while executing a search warrant in 2012. The 2005 ambush killing of four RCMP officers in Mayorthorpe made international headlines and raised questions over the agency's policies.

Many people living in the area wonder if those incidents, as well as a previous attack on officers in Moncton, N.B. signal a more dangerous working environment for police officers.

"It’s happening all over. It’s horrible. They don’t care anymore," said Eleanor Loitz, another area resident.

"They don’t care if it's a police officer or an ordinary person. And the police are the ones being targeted, because they are out there."

ALERT investigating suspect’s death

The hours-long search for the man responsible for the shooting came to an end when police tracked a suspect to a rural home near St. Albert.

Officers surrounded the house and, upon entering, found the man dead.

Police have not released information on how the suspect died, but have said officers did not fire their weapons.

Since the death is considered to have happened while in custody, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, Alberta's police watchdog, has taken over that part of the investigation.

RCMP continue to investigate the shooting at the casino.

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