Man dead after early morning shooting at Edmonton community hall

An early morning shooting at a community hall in south Edmonton claimed the life of a 37-year-old man.

'I think that we’re going to move out. This is the last straw.'

Police tape surrounded the parking lot of the Royal Gardens Community Hall in south Edmonton Sunday as officers investigated a shooting. (CBC)

A shooting at a community hall in south Edmonton early Sunday morning claimed the life of a 37-year-old man.

Edmonton police say they responded to a weapons complaint at the Royal Gardens Community Hall at 40th Avenue and 117th Street around 3:30 a.m.  By the time they arrived, the injured man had already been taken to hospital by friends where he later died. 

An autopsy will be performed on Tuesday. 

Brendon Babiuk, who lives nearby, told reporters he heard a truck repeatedly speeding up and down the road after 12:30 a.m.

"There was a vehicle ripping and down this road burning out his tires revving up his engine," he said.  A friend texted him half an hour later saying he heard a bunch of banging, commotion and screaming.

Hours later, a number of cars were still in the community centre's parking lot which was surrounded by yellow police tape. Officers wearing face masks and blue latex gloves paid particular attention to an older Chevrolet sedan parked in front of the hall.

Officers wearing masks and blue latex gloves were examining a grey Chevrolet Malibu sedan parked in front of the hall. (CBC)

Empty liquor and beer bottles could been seen on the ground. There were black tire tracks on the road that Babiuk said weren't there on Saturday.

Nadir Bellahmer, president of the Royal Gardens community league, said in a post on Facebook that he was devastated over the news of the death, and expressed his condolences to the victim's family. 

"Tragedies like this shake communities to the core and I am personally devastated," Bellahmer said. "I will take some time to process this news — speak to the board, residents and other community leaders to chart a path forward to heal and understand what has happened once the investigation is complete."

He said there hadn't been any violent incidents at the hall over the six years he has volunteered for the community league. He wrote that he never imagined such an incident would ever happen at the hall. 

Babiuk has lived in the neighbourhood for four years. He has a young son who plays in the playground next the the hall.

There was a shooting in the apartment next to him last year, and he's had enough.

"It's happening too often for comfort in this neighbourhood," he said. "I think that we're going to move out. This is the last straw."


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