EDMONTON — Police say a bid by two suspects to ambush an armoured truck in Edmonton ended in death for one of the bandits when he was shot by one of the vehicle's two guards.
A second suspect who fled is still being sought after the attempted holdup early Friday morning of a GardaWorld vehicle at a TD Canada Trust outlet near a southeast shopping mall.
Scott Pattison, a police spokesman, said the suspects — both males — unleashed pepper spray on the guards, but their tactic didn't work.
"One of the guards was able to discharge and kill one of the fleeing suspects,'' said Pattison.
The suspect died at the scene. His identity has not been released.
The guards were treated for the effects of the spray, but neither suffered any other injuries.
"It was extremely brazen."
Pattison said there are lots of bushes around the financial outlet, which the suspects tried to use to their advantage.
"It appears as though they were taking cover and that provided the element of surprise, potentially.''
It was not immediately known how many shots were fired, or whether the employees were taking cash into or out of the building at the time. A number of witnesses have already been interviewed and police were asking anyone who may have information about the botched holdup to come forward.
Busy, residential neighbourhood
Pattison noted that the area where the shooting occurred is normally quite busy during the daytime and is surrounded by a residential neighbourhood.
"It was extremely brazen. Bad guys get an objective in their minds and they're driven often by drugs or other variables,'' he said. "It's hard to determine when they want to conduct their business. Nothing good happens after 12 in the city, that's for sure.''
Isabelle Panelli, director of marketing and corporate affairs for GardaWorld, said in a statement that the guards are safe and that the company is providing support to them and their families.
"The incident is under investigation and we are fully co-operating with the Edmonton Police Department,'' she said.
Second violent armoured car robbery
There has been a violent armoured car robbery in Edmonton before.
In June 2012, an overnight crew of five armed guards employed by security company G4S was reloading ATM machines on the University of Alberta campus when one of them — Travis Baumgartner — shot and killed three of his co-workers and wounded the fourth.
Baumgartner fled with thousands of dollars in cash but was arrested the day after the shooting while trying to enter the U.S. at a border crossing in British Columbia. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 40 years.
In August 2013, Montreal-based GardaWorld Security Corp. announced it had acquired G4S Cash Solutions (Canada) for $110 million.
Garda is the largest privately owned security services company in the world with some 45,000 employees and clients.
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