40th homicide sets new Edmonton record
Edmonton has set a new record after the death of a man on the weekend was deemed the city's 40th homicide of 2011.
Police found 35-year-old Daniel Charles Hamer dead after they were called to a house at 117th Avenue and 86th Street around 3:30 a.m. Saturday.
Edmonton Police Det. Bill Clark said the incident may have been an act of self-defence.
"We have two suspects we have interviewed," he said.
"There was an indication at the time our officers went there of a break and enter in progress and ultimately the two suspects inside basically were in a fight with Mr. Hamer.
"We have a self-defence angle here we're looking at and a result these two suspects are not in our custody at this time."
The medical examiner found that Hamer died from blunt cranial trauma, Clark said.
Investigators are awaiting the results of forensic information taken from the scene before they decide what to do next. Clark said the file may end up being forwarded to the Crown prosecutors' office for a decision on whether charges will be laid.
Police have not yet classified the deaths of the two people found dead Tuesday in an Edmonton cemetery as homicides.
The earlier record of 39 homicides in one year was set in 2005.
Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said officers have been moved from other areas to work on solving the homicides. He said as many as 100 new officers may need to be hired to put the city's new crime reduction strategy into effect.
"What we're talking about is increased resources, specific to violence reduction," he said. "So that would be to enhance the homicide [unit], enhance other areas where we think we can drive down crime and drive down violence, specifically."
Half of this year's homicides involved an edged weapon like a knife and 80 per cent of the victims knew their attackers. Fifty per cent of the slayings happened in a private home, Knecht said