'Like something you see out of the movies': Police arrest 1 after shooting, carjackings in Edmonton area

RCMP are searching farm yards and acreages in southwest Saskatchewan after a shooting and a pair of armed carjackings in the Edmonton area early Thursday landed one person in hospital.

Police searching farms, acreages in west Saskatchewan for suspect on the run

The Flying J gas station was the scene of a car jacking early Thursday morning, believed to be part of a crime spree that stretched from Edmonton, to Sherwood Park, to Saskatchewan. (Trevor Wilson/CBC)

RCMP are searching farm yards and acreages in west Saskatchewan after a shooting and a pair of armed carjackings in the Edmonton area early Thursday landed one person in hospital.

A suspect was arrested Thursday morning near Maidstone, Sask., east of Lloydminster, in relation to the crimes which spanned from Edmonton to Sherwood Park, but no charges have yet been laid. 

Officers continue to search rural areas for a second suspect, a man believed to be travelling on foot, said RCMP in a news release Thursday afternoon.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous and police are asking the public and news agencies to stay away from areas with police presence.

"To ensure the safety of the public, we are asking people to report and not approach any suspicious activity, vehicles or persons in the Maidstone area to police immediately," the news release said. 

The series of events began late Wednesday, hundreds of kilometres from Maidstone in Edmonton when police were called to the scene of a carjacking.

A woman's black Ford Fusion was stolen just before midnight near 118th Avenue and 104th Street, police said.

Ten minutes later, another woman was robbed a few blocks away at 106th Avenue and 92nd Street, by a suspect matching the description of the carjacker.

The Fusion then fled to Sherwood Park and at about 12:35 a.m, Strathcona RCMP were called to assist Edmonton police in the pursuit.

At the same time, RCMP were called to reports of shots fired at the Holiday Inn Express on Broadmoor Boulevard in Sherwood Park. 
A man was found with gunshot wounds early Thursday morning at the Holiday Inn on Broadmoor Boulevard in Sherwood Park. The shooting is believed to be connected to a crime spree that stretched across two provinces. (Trevor Wilson/CBC)

Police found a man with wounds to his shoulder and neck.

The man was conscious and "appeared to have non-life threatening injuries," RCMP said.

'A shotgun in my face'

A few minutes later, at about 12:35 a.m., Vern Goulet had just got into his car to leave the Flying J gas station in Sherwood Park when someone opened his car door. 

"I thought it was just some guy going to ask me for a smoke or something," Goulet told CBC News on Thursday. "But the next thing I know there's a shotgun in my face and he told me to get down out of the car."

Goulet, a 38-year-old father of two who was on his way from Regina to Fort McMurray for work, did what he was told.

"I said, 'Take the car.' It's just a car, right?"

The man got into Goulet's car and sped away. Goulet said a Ford Fusion was following close behind.

"It was just like something you see out of the movies — it was crazy," he said. "The more I thought about it, too is, what if I had my kids in the back?"

Goulet said he ran into the service station and told the attendant to call the police. Within moments, however, the police were already on scene, he said.

"I gave the [officer] a statement and whatever and then afterward, I heard him on the radio say, 'Yeah, he gave the same description as the last victims.' " Goulet said. 

"And then I approached him and said, 'You mean it's more than just me?' And he said, 'Yeah we've been chasing these guys all night."

A black Ford Fusion was later found engulfed in flames on Highway 16 at Range Road 195. Investigators have yet to confirm that the burned vehicle is the same one used in the carjacking.

The Chrysler 300, believed to belong to Goulet, was later seen speeding through the Vegreville area, before it was recovered in Saskatchewan.

"After hearing about what the previous victims had happen to them," Goulet said, "I'm just very fortunate I didn't got shot or nothing like that."