Murder charge laid in Alberta peace officer's killing

RCMP have charged a 46-year-old man with first-degree murder after a peace officer was killed southwest of Calgary Friday.

Police say peace officer had previously visited home of suspect

Police have charged Trevor Kloschinsky, 46, with first-degree murder in the death of peace officer Rod Lazenby. (Stuart Gradon/Calgary Herald)

A man has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of a southern Alberta peace officer.

Trevor Kloschinsky, 46, will appear in a Calgary court Monday morning to face the charge.

Rod Lazenby, a former Mountie was dropped off at a southeast Calgary police station in his own SUV on Friday morning, the RCMP said. He was taken to hospital in critical condition but pronounced dead on arrival.

The peace officer had been driven to the District 8 station by a "person of interest," who turned himself in to police.

Police gather evidence Saturday from a property southwest of Calgary. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Kloschinsky has been charged with first-degree murder in this killing, the Mounties said. They say RCMP and peace officers had visited Kloschinsky’s property in the past, and that Lazenby had prior contact with the accused.

"Policing, it's inherently dangerous. You never know where and when something like this just might happen. Each and every one of us go to work every day knowing that," said  Insp. Garrett Woolsey with the RCMP Major Crimes Unit.

"As far as we know this was around a dog complaint, and now this has occurred so it's an emotional time for everyone in the police community."

Kloschinsky was known to police, but has no criminal record, Woolsey said.

RCMP have released few details about what happened except to say no shots were fired. Investigators didn't say how Lazenby was killed; an autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

Complaints about dogs

The investigation continued Saturday at a property two kilometres north of Priddis, which is being called a protected crime scene.

A neighbour told CBC News Kloschinsky and Lazenby knew each other. Kloschinsky, who lives on the property near Priddis, owns several dogs that have been the subject of complaints from neighbours.

The neighbour said officials have removed dogs from the Quonset hut that houses them in the past. RCMP say the dogs are now being cared for at the property.

Amber Kerr, a manager at the Priddis Cafe and Grill, said the man who other customers told her lived on the property was a bit of a problem at the business earlier this year.

"He used to come in the cafe sometimes and use the phone and would absolutely scream at the [municipal district] about his dogs," Kerr said. 

RCMP are interviewing witnesses in the case.

Former RCMP officer

Lazenby spent 35 years with the RCMP before retiring in 2006 to become a bylaw officer for the Municipal District of Foothills.

News stories from 2002 said Lazenby was part of an elaborate sting operation in Ottawa where officers posed as Italian mobsters to try to get a suspect to confess to murder.

In news reports covering the trial, Lazenby described in court how he portrayed Rod Calabria, the ruthless head of an organized crime group, by faking an Italian accent and pretending to lead a lavish lifestyle.

"As many RCMP officers do, they love law enforcement and they want to stay engaged, so they find something in retirement that gives them continuation of that life," Woolsey said. "On behalf of the RCMP, I would like to express our condolences to the Lazenby family, to his daughter, to his wife and to his extended family."

Priddis is a 15-minute drive southwest of Calgary.