A Red Deer restaurant owner says her staff and customers were left shaken after a young male suspect took random shots at a front window on Tuesday.
Fortunately, no one was sitting in the booth by the window when the shots were fired at about 4:30 p.m., said Leah Beston, owner of Leah’s Bar and Grill in Highland Green.
But some customers and staff were in the restaurant at the time and were “nervous and scared,” said a staffer named Chelsea, who declined to give her last name.
The shooter had aimed high when he took the three shots while standing outside the restaurant, before he fled. Two bullets hit high up on the window, with one breaking the glass and the other leaving a mark, but ricocheting off.
“I don’t think he was aiming to hit anyone,” said Beston, “but it’s dangerous.”
Beston could think of no one with a grudge who would take potshots at the restaurant. And her staff didn’t recognize the suspected shooter in the surveillance video that was turned over to police.
She believes it was a random act and the suspect could have mental health problems. Beston said the investigating officer told her on Tuesday that other shots had been fired at a Highland Green apartment on Monday and that police are investigating whether these cases are linked.
But the RCMP watch commander told the Advocate on Wednesday he hasn’t heard about any other shootings in the city and has no new information to share. However, the investigating officer will be back on shift and may have more information on Thursday, said Amber Murphy, communications specialist for Red Deer RCMP.
Red Deer RCMP officers determined a lone male shot towards Leah’s Bar and Grill and then fled on foot with a firearm.
Beston, who was called back to work after the incident, saw police dogs and a tactical team trying to track down the suspect on Tuesday.
Police are seeking a younger adult or teenage male, with dark complexion, who was wearing a dark hooded sweater or coat, blue jeans, and white sneakers. Surveillance footage shows the suspect carrying a revolver-type firearm.
Red Deer RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance for any information about this incident or to help identify the person responsible.
Beston is unimpressed that some people have been putting false reports out on social media claiming the shooter nearly missed someone with his bullet and had tried to enter the building. Neither of these claims are true.
She believes it’s a disservice to spread false information about an active police investigation.
Members of the public are being warned by the police not to approach the suspect, but to instead call 911 immediately. Any information regarding this incident or the suspect can be reported to the Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.P3Tips.com.