At least three people have been reported dead and one is in critical condition after a failed armed robbery attempt at the University of Alberta. All four victims were employees of G4S Security, the world's largest security company.
Just after midnight, Edmonton police confirmed shots were fired at the University of Alberta’s HUB Mall and the area has been under lockdown. Police spokesperson confirmed to CTV News that three were found dead and a fourth person was immediately rushed to the hospital and is in critical condition.
Edmonton police are looking for one or more suspects involved in the shooting.
The University of Alberta issued an alert Friday morning telling students and faculty of an armoured car robbery attempt. At the time of the release, Edmonton Police did not confirm or deny the incident until later.
“Dear members of the U of A community: I deeply regret to inform you that there was a robbery on campus in and around HUB last night that resulted in the loss of lives,” wrote Carl Amrhein, acting president and provost of University of Alberta in an alert. “It does not appear at this time that any of the victims of this tragic incident are university staff or students.”
It was reported later that the victims – two men and one woman – died of their injuries and were employees of G4S Security, the world’s largest security firm. The identities of the victims will not be released to the public until the families have been notified of the incident. The bodies were found by Safewalk volunteers, an organization that escorts students on campus late at night.
At first, police officers believed it was a lone shooter, but witnesses in the area are being questioned and some have been taken to police headquarters. Police say the suspect or suspects remain at large and are considered armed and dangerous.
“Obviously detectives are interviewing everybody and anybody that may have seen what happened and possibly the suspect or suspects fleeing the scene,” said police spokesman Scott Pattison, reports the Edmonton Journal. “The police investigation is ongoing and they are chasing leads as we speak.”
While studying at the HUB, which consists of student resources and malls, Student Ravedh Seeberath told CBC News that he heard the shots just after midnight.
“As I was walking down, that's when about 30 tactical officers were rushing toward me, passing me with complete firearms the whole works, and police dogs,” explained the student. “That's when I went back to my books, grabbed what I could, and told the other ladies in that little study area that we should get out of there.”
Update No. 1: Edmonton police have named 21-year-old Travis Brandon Baumgartner as a wanted person of interest in Friday morning's shooting at the University of Alberta. A manhunt for Baumgartner is underway. Police also say that Baumgartner was a colleague of the three guards who were killed.
The man owns a dark blue Ford F-150 pick-up truck and has the Alberta license plate number, ZRE 724
"To the families of those involved, and to the co-workers of these employees from G4S, all of us here at the Edmonton Police Service, and all the citizens of Edmonton, share your feelings of shock and disbelief,” said EPS Police Chief Rod Knecht. “Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Victim Services employees have been assigned to work with each one of the families involved, and senior executives from G4S will be arriving in Edmonton shortly to meet with their employees here."