Shootings at Calgary bar triggered by minor dispute: police
Police search for gunman
A gunman opened fire inside a downtown Calgary bar early Friday, injuring five people, because he had been bumped by another man, police believe.
The shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. at the Mirage Bar & Grill on 10th Avenue S.W.
After interviews with dozens of witnesses, it appears the gunfire began with a minor altercation, said acting Staff Sgt. Joel Matthews on Friday afternoon.
"Two males that were, I guess, vaguely familiar with one another in the bar … they walked by each other, kind of bumped into each other. A short time after that, they did the same thing, and I guess to everybody's surprise one guy just pulled out a firearm and started shooting," he said.
Two of the five people injured were intended targets, but the incident does not appear to be linked to gangs, Matthews said.
The two injured men, who were taken to hospital in potentially life-threatening condition, underwent surgery Friday and are intensive care, said Calgary police duty Insp. Rob Williams.
Three other bar patrons — two men and a 23-year-old woman — were treated for minor injuries and released. All of the victims are in their 20s.
"Those people, they just started just shooting. It wasn't like there was a conflict, or people having a problem," said a witness named Arol, who was grazed in the back with a bullet and declined to give his full name.
"I heard the gunshot, and then I felt something hit me really hard in the back."
Arol, 28, said the gunshots set off panic inside the bar as everyone started running.
Holding a bloody undershirt and sporting a hole torn by the bullet in the back of his shirt, Arol said he felt fortunate he wasn't injured more seriously, or even killed.
"Last night it was painful, but now I'm OK," he said, reluctantly showing reporters the bandage on his back.
On Friday morning, yellow police tape was hung up and a trail of blood led from the Mirage to the sidewalk.
The area where the Mirage is located is often frequented by people involved in the drug trade.
Across the street from the bar, people were lined up at a bottle depot Friday morning with shopping carts full of returns.
Mario Iannace has worked in the neighbourhood for more than a decade and says it has changed over the years: "It's rough, but hey, it's rough all over."
Devinder Toor, owner of a neighbouring liquor store, said the Mirage used to be a high-end restaurant until it was converted into a bar about two months ago.
He said police viewed footage from his security cameras, which showed two men getting out of a small car and then jumping back into it about 20 minutes later and accelerating out of the parking lot.