Calgary Police worry about public safety after recent deaths

CALGARY — Police in Calgary are at a loss to explain a surge in violence that has led to four deaths in the past two weeks.

At least two of the victims died of gunshot wounds — the most recent was early Monday when police received reports of multiple shots being fired.

Two shooting victims, both men in their 20s, were dropped off at a hospital in critical condition. One was later declared deceased.

Farah Hersi Handule, 23, of Ontario, meanwhile, was shot to death on Boxing Day in a targeted attack.

Police were called to the scene after reports of a man’s body being found in the middle of the road.

Handule had been on the run from authorities and the subject of a Canada-wide warrant after he was charged in Ottawa with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Hamzeh Serhan in 2017.

“We can say that. We’re working with the Ottawa Police Service in regards to that individual. It’s not our investigation so it’s not for us to speak to that,” said Staff Sgt. Colin Chisholm, of the CPS Homicide Unit.

“We’ve had way too many shootings in the city of Calgary by far and they’re a huge concern to us.”

Chisholm said Calgary has recorded a “significant” number of shootings in 2019 which leads to public safety concerns and the potential for innocent bystanders being hit.

“It’s concerning the number of guns that are on the street, illegal guns and possibly legal guns as well.”

There have been no arrests in either Monday’s shootings or Handule’s death. Police are asking the public for help and want to speak to the driver of a 2018 white Ford Fusion that dropped the two men off at hospital.

Police have laid first-degree murder charges in the Dec. 13 death of Mahmoud Ahmid Aburashed, who was found dead in a condo.

His roommates, Allen James McCabe, 32, and Megan Elizabeth Springstead, 33, have both been charged. Police believe the motive was linked to money owed in relation to drugs.

His cause of death hasn’t been released.

Police are also continuing to probe the Dec. 27 case of a man found dead after a call from a tenant reporting a disturbance from two downstairs occupants.

His name and cause of death have not been released. No charges have been laid.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 30, 2019.

Bill Graveland , The Canadian Press

Calgary police chief

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