Calgary’s eighth murder victim of 2008 was not homeless nor a client of the nearby homeless shelter, police said yesterday.
Police have confirmed the victim died from blunt-force trauma after an altercation broke out Wednesday afternoon beside Salvation Army in the 400 block of 9 Ave SE.
Police spokesperson Kevin Brookwell said police have identified the victim, but will not release his name until next of kin has been notified.
“The two motives that we're looking at, based on the information that we have, is that it may have been drug-related or may have been theft-related,” Brookwell said, adding neither have been confirmed yet.
Police do have a “person of interest” they are seeking and believe the victim and the suspect may have known each other.
Witnesses in the area said the victim may have been bludgeoned to death over a botched drug deal, but also pointed to the lack of policing in the area.
“This area is just getting overrun with drugs and fights and I’m surprised people don’t die here every day. There needs to be more police here, they just let it all happen right in front of them,” former shelter resident Steve Hibbs told Metro.
District 1 Staff Sgt. Barry Balerud said police know the area is a “hot spot” for crime and have added more resources in recent months.
“We have identified it as a hot spot for crime and like all hot spots, it usually involves drugs, and we know drug activities bring other crimes, too,” Balerud told reporters.
Police are looking for a suspect described as late 20s, six feet tall, with a medium build and messy blond hair.