Edmonton wins dubious title in fatal shootings

Edmonton leads the country with more gun-related homicides per-capita than any other Canadian city, according to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada.

In the grim toll for 2006, released yesterday, the city led the nation with 15 of that year’s 36 homicides committed with firearms.


Edmonton homicide Staff Sgt. Chris Kluthe told Metro he is not shocked by the proportion of gun-related deaths.

"Well, Edmonton is usually right up there with total amount of homicides per capita so I’m really not surprised that we have the most gun-related deaths," Kluthe said. "But we’ve had spikes before and why it is up and down, I don’t know."

While Edmonton leads the nation per capita, bigger cities like Vancouver and Toronto continue to have the highest number of actual incidents.

In 2006 Edmonton recorded the second highest number of murders in its history, with 36.

"I think Alberta is booming right now and it’s attracting more money and more people and that brings more drugs and more gangs. A lot of the homicides and violence has been gang related," Kluthe said.

Gary Hunt, father of 17-year-old Joshua Hunt who was slain after a house party in October of 2006, told Metro he doesn’t believe the violence is only coming from gangs and drugs.

"There is a lot of violence, period. If you take a look at the bigger cities we’re seeing a lot more violence and it’s getting out of hand," Hunt said. "For a smaller city it’s completely out of control."

Hunt believes the problem lies directly in the weak Canadian justice system and what he calls a "revolving door" for criminals.

Across the country as a whole there were 190 firearm homicides committed in 2006, which was a 33-per-cent drop from the year before, according to Stats Canada.


how we stack up

  • Victims of gun-related violent crimes in Canadian cities in 2006: Vancouver 455; Winnipeg 315; Toronto 1,993; Calgary 388; Montreal 1,291; Edmonton 306; Ottawa 226; Regina 78; Halifax 141; Saskatoon 80; Windsor 57; Victoria 34.

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