Edmonton

Edmonton Mac's victims: Friends, colleagues help families

Plans are being made to assist the families of two men who were shot to death 10 minutes apart in convenience store robberies in south Edmonton Friday.

Both victims new to Canada, each leaves a wife and a son

Karanpal Bhangu, 35, was killed while working at a Mac's convenience store in the Mill Woods area of Edmonton. He is shown with his son Royce and his wife Kiran in this image from the GoFundMe website. (gofundme.com)

Plans are being made to assist the families of two men who were shot to death 10 minutes apart in convenience store robberies in south Edmonton Friday.

Both men were newcomers to Edmonton and each leaves a wife and a son.

Ricky Cenabre, 41, and Karanpal Bhangu, 35, were working the overnight shift at Mac's Convenience stores when they were killed.

Cenabre leaves a 16-year-old son and a wife in the Philippines.

Ricky Cenabre, 41, was identified Saturday as the victim of the shooting at the 109th Street Mac`s store in Edmonton. (gofundme.com)

Efrain Holganza met Cenabre a year ago and was impressed with his ambition.

"He's a simple guy with big plans in life," he said. "If he got permanent residence here in Canada he was planning to enlist in the military here."

Cenabre bought a vehicle from Holganza, a sales agent at a west Edmonton auto dealership, last January.

The two quickly established that Cenabre's wife was the sister of a friend of Holganza back home in the Philippines, sparking a quick friendship.

Cenabre had been in Canada for less than five years, Holganza said.

Holganza and his co-workers started a GoFundMe page to raise money for his family and to send his body back home. In one day, it has already surpassed its goal of $10,000. 

A GoFundMe page is also raising money for Bhangu`s family.

Resources nearly exhausted

David Eifert is the principal at Progressive Academy, a private school in the Glenora neighbourhood, where Bhangu's wife Kiran Bhangu worked as a junior kindergarten teacher and where the couple's son, Royce, is a Grade 1 student.

"We know that she almost exhausted her resources to bring Karanpal and their son to Canada from India, so we wanted to do something to help her with funeral expenses and to enable her to get back on her feet in the months to come," he said.

The page has raised over $40,000.

Mac's head office said the company has been in a state of emergency and mourning all weekend.

"First and foremost, our hearts go out to the families, friends and colleagues of Ricky Massin Cenabre and Karanpal Bhangu," said spokesperson Bonnie Birollo in a news release Sunday.

"We are doing what we can to support them during this difficult time."

Birollo thanked Edmonton police for the quick arrests in the case.

Managers visit stores

Mac's managers visited stores Friday night and Saturday to offer clerks support and encouragement, she said.

All stores in the area were again asked to review security practices with their teams.

Mac's will set up an account to accept donations in support of the victims' families on Monday, Birollo said.

The two stores involved are expected to open to customers early in the week, she said, while arrangements have been made to have counsellors on site to support staff.

Laylin Delorme, 24, Colton Steinhauer, 27, and a 13-year-old boy who cannot be named are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder, robbery with a prohibited restricted firearm, being disguised with intent and other offences.

All three have criminal records and were prohibited from owning firearms, police said. 

Neither Bhangu nor Cenabre offered any resistance in the robberies.

"This was a barbaric and gratuitous act of violence upon two innocent persons resulting in a senseless loss of life," said police chief Rod Knecht Friday.

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