Boy, 5, fatally shot at Hobbema, Alta., reserve
Samson Cree chief says the child is his grandson
A five-year-old boy died early Monday in a shooting on the troubled Hobbema reserve about 80 kilometres south of Edmonton.
RCMP said the gunshot was fired from outside the house. The little boy was sleeping in his bed at the time. A woman inside the home sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital.
Samson Cree Chief Marvin Yellowbird confirmed the child is his grandson.
"We're coping but at the same time it is a tragic day today for the Yellowbird family as well as the community," he said.
Police were called to a residence on the reserve after 3 a.m. MT Monday after receiving a gun complaint. The child's body was found inside.
"About 3:30 there were shots fired, about four shots," said Martina Swampy Lazarre, who lives across the street. "Then we heard screaming and [a man] saying his little boy had died."
Shots fired earlier at another house
RCMP Supt. Curtis Zablocki called on the person or persons responsible for the child's death to come forward. He said shots were fired at another house on the Samson town site around 1:30 a.m.
No one was hurt in that incident and police are still trying to determine if it is related to the shooting that killed the boy.
"Investigators are following up all leads and have not ruled out possible gang activity," Zablocki said.
An autopsy is scheduled to take place Tuesday.
The Samson Cree First Nation reserve has been plagued by drug and gang violence over the years.
Band leaders and police promised to improve enforcement after the shooting of 23-month-old Asia Saddleback in April 2008.
Saddleback was struck by a stray bullet that tore through the wall of her grandfather's house, hitting her in the liver and spine as she ate Sunday dinner with her family.
The little girl survived the attack but spent 10 days in hospital and now has a bullet lodged in her spine. Christopher Crane, then 18, pleaded guilty to the shooting. He shot at the house because he believed the residents were members of a rival gang.
A youth, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, was found guilty of aggravated assault and several weapons offences.