EDMONTON — People who know the young man accused of killing three people in a rural area west of Edmonton say they can't believe he would be capable of committing such crimes.
RCMP shot Mickell Clayton Bailey, 19, on Tuesday during his arrest. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. Mickell also goes by Michael, or Mikey.
Investigators say a Mountie hit Bailey with a single shot as he walked out of a house carrying a firearm. Bailey remains in hospital in serious condition following surgery.
Bailey's uncle was once married to Roxanne Berube, one of the victims.
"I still can't believe that Michael did it."
Linda Osipow said she has known Bailey since he was a baby. He helped her with her fruit business last summer by hauling produce and setting up tables at her roadside stand.
She said he was never aggressive or violent and was always pleasant to deal with.
"He is just a big, goofy kid,'' she said of the suspect Wednesday.
"I still can't believe that Michael did it. I don't know what evidence the police have that would point them in that direction, because he is the last person that I could even imagine doing anything like this.''
Mounties found the bodies of Berube, 36, another female and Daniel Miller on Sunday in the home they shared near Peers, a hamlet just outside of Edson.
Police have not released the name of the second female, but friends and family on Facebook have identified her as Berube's teenage daughter.
Osipow said Bailey moved in with his grandfather, Herb Heintz, three years ago. The 84-year-old is almost blind and can no longer drive. Bailey helped him run the farm, drove him to doctor's appointments and took him for groceries, she said.
"In all of the time that I have known Michael I have known him only to be a good kid. Unfathomable. I can't wrap my head around it.''
Heintz's house is a few hundred metres down the road from the home where the three bodies were found.
Bailey's Facebook page shows pictures of seven handguns and an image of a sports car. There is no mention of the shootings.
The most recent posting is of a trailer for the movie "Fast and Furious 8'' that is dated only a few hours before Bailey was shot by police.
"I can't wrap my head around it.''
A posting on the day Mounties found the three bodies is of a cartoon that features baby penguins sliding on ice.
John Myslicki, a former school teacher who has lived in the area for 39 years, said the killings have frightened the community.
Despite the arrest, people are locking their doors; they didn't before.
Myslicki said he once taught Berube in elementary school and they were close friends for years.
"I hope we all remember Roxanne and how kind all of them were."
Myslicki remembers Berube's easy smile, bubbly personality and her willingness to help others.
"It does make you really heartsick,'' he said, choking back sobs.
"I hope we all remember Roxanne and how kind all of them were. And I hope we all remember those three for the good things that they did.''
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