LRT shooting sparked by cigarette request, witness says

A deadly shooting at the Stadium LRT Stadium station began with a request for a cigarette, an Edmonton courtroom heard Wednesday.

A deadly shooting at the Stadium LRT Stadium station began with a request for a cigarette, the victim's brother told an Edmonton courtroom on Wednesday.

Heather Rae Thurier was shot in the head May 21, 2010 at the Stadium LRT platform. (Facebook)

Colton Barry Ferguson, 21, is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of Heather Rae Thurier, 23.

Travis Thurier testified he and his sister approached a young man at the station on May 21, 2010 asking for a cigarette. 

When the man did not respond, his sister repeated her request more loudly, as the pair moved closer to the man, he said. 

The man began flashing gang signs and said, "Do you know who I am and what I can do to you?" said Thurier.

His sister asked a third time as she threw change at the feet of the man.

When the man pulled out a sawed-off .22 from his backpack, Thurier tapped his sister indicating they should leave, he told the court.

But his sister became angry, asking the man, "Why are you bringing out guns and waving them in our faces?"

The man walked away, but when she asked him again, he returned.

"He shot my sister....in the head," said Thurier.

"I ran after him and he tried to stab me," he said. "He ran out the doors and I chased him through parking lot."

The man ran towards the nearby End Zone Pub, he said.

Thurier saw two girls at the pub doors and told them to call 911.

Thurier said he could not catch the man so he returned to his sister, who was now lying still in a puddle of blood while his cousin was on the payphone crying.

Thurier was asked if the man who shot his sister was in the courtroom. He replied that he was and pointed to Ferguson.

Thurier will be cross-examined by Ferguson's lawyer Ashok Gill on Thursday.

with files from CBC's John Archer