The random murder of an elderly man, celebrating his 29th wedding anniversary with his wife at a busy west-end strip mall, has struck a nerve with Edmonton’s top cop.
Edmonton Police Chief Mike Boyd says the city’s latest murder — with the killer still on the loose — sticks out in his mind as one of the worst he’s seen.
“Every murder is a tragic situation, but the circumstances around this as we know it now are just one of the most tragic that I’ve seen in my 38 years,” said Boyd.
“Seventy-seven-years-old, 29 years of marriage and this man’s life ends like this, and his wife having to witness that.”
The couple had just finished a meal at the Royal Fork Buffet Wednesday afternoon, when the victim was fatally stabbed in the parking lot at 149 Street and Stony Plain Road.
Police say a man in his 20s in a black hoodie was seen fleeing the scene after the attack that was in broad daylight shortly before 4 p.m. They are studying surveillance tapes for an image of the attacker.
“We are pulling out all the stops (in finding the suspect) and I can tell you there will be no stone left unturned,” said Boyd.
Police have been canvassing the neighbourhood and the police helicopter was flying over the neighbourhood yesterday.
People touched by the tragedy created a makeshift memorial at a light pole in the parking lot where the man was killed. It included teddy bears, candles and roses with supportive messages.
“This rose stands for love, and even though I don’t know the person, I feel for the older person and I feel for his wife,” said Birgit Boxall while holding the rose in her hand before she placed it into the memorial.
“I have an elderly mom and dad who live two blocks from here — I wouldn’t want it to happen to them.”
The suspect is described as about six-foot-one with a mole or scar on his face, and is believed to live in the neighbourhood, Boyd said.
Boyd is also pleading with those who were shopping in the mall who may have seen something suspicious before 4 p.m. Wednesday to call police at 423-4567.