‘Dream was cut short:” Calgary man about to open cafe killed in break and enter

CALGARY — A chef killed during an attempted break and enter at a cannabis shop was about to realize a lifelong dream of opening his own cafe.

Christophe Herblin, who was 56, had responded to an alarm at the cafe site and was later attacked by three men who were trying to get into a cannabis store next door.

Police had searched and cleared the area, but Herblin remained in the parking lot for another three hours. It’s believed the original suspects returned and attacked him.

He was fatally injured but managed to walk a short distance to a nearby business where emergency crews were called.

Herblin was a longtime executive sous chef at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club in Calgary. His new business, a French deli and cafe, was to open soon.

“In this particular event the business owner did everything correct and that’s what makes this so tragic,” police Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta said Tuesday.

“We have an innocent person whose life was taken because we have offenders who were very motivated to access the cannabis shop.”

Schiavetta said it’s too soon to understand how the attack began.

“We have a lot of investigative theories and obviously this is very active. I can’t get into that level of detail,” he said.

“It is a very tragic and senseless death we’re talking about. Those details will come out possibly when charges have been laid.”

“There are no words that I can say that will be adequate to describe Christophe. He was a kind, generous and gentle man. He loved his family, cooking, animals, motorcycles, good friends and wonderful food and wine,” Herblin’s family said in a statement.

“He worked extremely hard to realize his dream of opening his own cafe. That dream was cut short by this senseless tragedy. Our hearts are broken.”

Herblin’s car was recovered during a traffic stop by RCMP in Saskatchewan, but the driver was released. Schiavetta said it’s unclear if the suspects are still in Calgary.

He said the cannabis store that was targeted had been robbed twice before and there have been 20 similar cases in Calgary over the last year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2020

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Calgary crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE - A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Tim Hortons to test deposit program for returnable coffee cups and packaging

Test program to start at select Toronto restaurants

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump, center left, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chat before a round table meeting of NATO leaders in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Evan Vucci
US NATO allies still short on defence spending aims

None of the 30 allies owes NATO or its members money

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce announces business of the year winners

All finalists ‘displayed courage’ this year, says chamber CEO

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

Red Deer city council will hold a public hearing on Oct. 28 about whether to take the future expansion of Molly Banister Drive off the table. (Photo by MAMTA LULLA/Advocate staff).
Opinion: Molly Banister extension isn’t as important as quality of life

Citizen opposition to the Molly Banister Drive extension has grown since the… Continue reading

Email letters to editor@interior-news.com
I ask myself: ‘What the hell’ has happened to Red Deer?

I moved to Red Deer on Nov. 1, 2001, and I fell… Continue reading

Canada goalkeeper Erin McLeod wipes tears from her eyes after losing 2-1 to England during a FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal soccer game in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday June 27, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canadian ‘keeper Erin McLeod happy in Iceland, looks to help others stay positive

Orlando loaned McLeod to Iceland’s Ungmennafelag Stjarnan in August

FILE - Toronto Raptors’ Fred VanVleet (23) goes up for a shot agains the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Raptors do without live visits from potential recruits as NBA draft approaches

No opportunity to bring players to Toronto training facility

FILE - This Dec. 11, 2019 file photo shows Channing Dungey at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Breakfast Gala in Los Angeles. Dungey has been named chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group, starting her tenure at the studio early next year. The news was announced today by Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, to whom she will report. Dungey will succeed Peter Roth who will be stepping down from his Studio responsibilities running the TV Group and its operating divisions in early 2021. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Study: TV industry falls short of off-camera inclusivity

Whites held 92 per cent of chair and CEO positions

Tampa Bay Rays' Brandon Lowe rounds the bases after a home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin during the first inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Lowe homers twice, Rays hold off Dodgers 6-4 to even Series

Lowe homers twice, Rays hold off Dodgers 6-4 to even Series

Most Read