Edmonton records its first two homicides of 2009 overnight – Metro US

Edmonton records its first two homicides of 2009 overnight

Residents in two neighbourhoods in the city’s southwest woke up yesterday to police tape, squad cars and homicide detectives knocking on doors at several homes to investigate two separate shootings within an hour overnight.

Police say a man, believed to be in his 30s, died from what appeared to be gunshot wounds in a black Escalade that slammed into a home on 156 Street and 77 Avenue shortly after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A male passenger believed to be in his 20s or early 30s, who witnesses say was wearing a red and black plaid jacket, was seen running from the area just after the crash, police said.

Neighbours say the people who live in the home, an older family, were not hurt, but they were startled when they heard the crash.

“I was upstairs and I thought I heard two loud backfires from a truck — that’s what it sounded like,” said Lyndsay Coltman, who lives near the home.

Homicide detectives were also busy in MacEwan after a man was found in the middle of the upscale residential road along McAllister Loop after several neighbours heard gunshots around 12:15 a.m.

Police say neighbours heard several vehicles speeding away.

“Something like this never happens down here,” resident Scott Hyde said. “I haven’t seen police vehicles out here in a long, long time.”

Detectives in both cases say the investigations into identifying the two victims are underway. Autopsy took place yesterday.

Police spokesman Jeff Wuite says detectives are still trying to figure out if the cases are related.

“Certainly when you have two incidents like this so close together in the city in the same area of town, that’s something we need to look at,” said Wuite.

These are the city’s first and second homicides of the year.