1 of 2 men gunned down in Calgary Superstore parking lot was not intended target, police say

One of the victims in a double homicide that appeared to be a drug-related hit was not involved in any criminal activity and wasn’t targeted in the shooting, police said Wednesday.

'He was the apple of my eye,' says father of shooting victim Anees Amr, 26

Calgary police now believe Anees Amr, 26, right, who was one of two men shot to death in May in a parking lot, was not the intended target and had no criminal ties. Investigators are still looking for two vehicles in connection with the homicides. (Calgary Police Service)

One of the victims in a double homicide that appeared to be a drug-related hit was not involved in any criminal activity and wasn't targeted in the shooting, police said Wednesday as they released new information as media conference.

Police also released new surveillance images related to the May 21 shooting in the Superstore parking lot at 130th Avenue and 48th Street S.E.

The victims were Anees Amr, 26, and Colin Reitberger, 23.

"It is believed that Amr was not the intended target in this shooting and investigators do not believe he was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the shooting," said acting Insp. Paul Wozney. 

Amr's father, Ismail Amr, told members of the media that initial coverage of the shooting that suggested his son had criminal ties was hurtful and baseless.

Father of slain 26-year-old pleads for information

5 years ago
Duration 1:25
Calgarian Anees Amr was shot dead in a double homicide during the May long weekend.

"Anees was innocent. He had no reason to be shot and killed in public," Amr said, adding his son was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"He was the apple of my eye, the love of my life."

Investigators interviewed about two dozen witnesses after the shooting and determined that the two victims had arrived at the parking lot together.

Christian Joffre Ouellette, 20, was arrested and charged the following month with two counts of first-degree murder.

Police are looking for the man who was driving this Ford Escape on May 21 at Nose Hill Park. (Calgary Police Service)

It's believed the motive for the shooting stemmed from a conflict between Ouellette and Reitberger, Wozney said. 

Wozney said he was unable to go into details about whether the dispute involved drugs, as was initially believed, because the case is now before the court.

"In terms of the part about the drugs, and that being brought up early on in the investigation, what I can say to that is investigative theories change," Wozney said.

Detectives think Ouellette arrived in a separate vehicle, which was recovered by police, shot the two men and left in another vehicle, which dropped him off at a gas station on Freeport Boulevard N.E.

Police are still looking for that vehicle — a red Dodge Durango SLT, likely a 2004 to 2006 model, with a sunroof — as well as its driver.

Police want to locate and speak with this man in connection with a double homicide in southeast Calgary in May. (Calgary Police Service)

It is believed Ouellette then took a taxi from the gas station to Nose Hill Park, where another vehicle was parked.

While at the park, the suspect spoke with a man driving a yellow Ford Escape, police say.

Detectives want to talk to this man and are asking for the public's help in identifying him and his vehicle.

He is described as white with a goatee.

"I would love for him to give us a call and come in to talk to us," Wozney said. 

Amr issued a plea for anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

"I need justice for my son and my family," he said.

"Our family needs some sort of peace."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

A statement released by the Amr family is below:

My son's name was Anees Amr. Anees was born on May 27th, 1990. He was my second son, he was the apple of my eye, the love of my life. On May 21st, 2017, Anees was taken from me, his mother and his brother and sister. From the moment that he opened his eyes, I knew he was special. Anees was so kind, caring, loving and supportive to his friends and family. Anees was known for his amazing sense of humour and his charismatic personality, until this day his memory remains cherished by his closest friends and his family.

Anees was only 26 years old when he was murdered. Anees was innocent, he had no reason to be shot and killed in public, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and has no ties to any drug groups in the city as some media outlets reported based on no evidence – no matter who he was with at the time and no matter who his friends were. At the time, our family had lost one son and Anees was aware of this – he would have never put his life at risk for the sake of his family.

Unfortunately, he was murdered and now there are so many things that my son will never get to experience. My heart is broken and it will always be, life will never be the same without his light, our family will never be the same. Anees was my best friend, my light, he was the rock in our family. Anees was not only hardworking but he had a heart of gold. Anees would give the shirt off of his back and he was always there for his friends and family. Anees would call his mother every night before bed and tell her that he loved he, he was always there for his siblings.

He helped support his younger siblings throughout their college education and was there for them when they needed anything. And now they've lost their elder brother and they will never be the same again. When I miss my son, I cannot pick up the phone and call him, I cannot eat dinner with him, celebrate his birthday or any other events no matter how small or significant with him. When I miss my son, the closest I can get to him is visiting his grave.

No parent should have to live to bury their son. I need justice for my son and for our family. If anyone knows anything or holds any further information with respect to those who contributed to my son's murder, those who broke our family's heart and forever shattered our lives, I am begging you from the bottom of my heart to please help us bring forth justice on my son's case. Please do not let those who murdered him or participated in his murder walk the streets freely.

Anees was innocent on that day he was murdered, it would be a terrible shame if those who participated in this murder escaped the grasp of justice. Our family will never be the same but if we knew that each participant in his death was brought to justice it would assist us in knowing that Anees' life was not taken in vein and those responsible for his death are where they are supposed to be.

Our family needs some sort of peace, we know it will not bring him back but we cannot sleep at night knowing that people who participated in his death and who have committed such a horrendous act are walking freely and getting away with his murder.

I thank anyone in advance of this for any information no matter how small or how important it may be for taking the time and helping our family to find peace and justice.

Thank you.

Ismail Amr

On May 21, Anees Amr, 26, and Colin Reitberger, 23, were shot to death in this Superstore parking lot. (Mike Symington/CBC)