RCMP have laid charges against Marshall Lawrence Stone of Rocky Mountain House in connection to the death of a single mom in the community.
Ashley Smith-Ames, 28, was killed Friday evening in what police described as a domestic situation.
Stone has been charged with the murder of Smith-Ames and the attempted murder of her sister, Alexis Ames, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Rocky Mountain House RCMP responded to several 911 calls reporting a man with a gun in a residence at about 7:30 p.m. Friday. When police arrived, they discovered two women, one dead and the other injured. The man had already left the scene.
Three children in the residence were not injured.
An autopsy was conducted Monday in Calgary and the RCMP confirm the cause of Smith-Ames’s death was a gunshot wound.
Stone had turned himself in to police and remains in custody.
Stone’s first court appearance is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday in Rocky Mountain House provincial court.
Smith-Ames’s death has shocked many of her friends and the community.
“It’s hard to believe. It doesn’t seem real,” says longtime friend Amanda Douglas, who attended St. Dominic Catholic High School in Rocky Mountain House with the deceased.
Another school friend, Jazmin Thomas, describes the death as overwhelming.
“It’s so shocking, it’s unexpected. She was so young and there was so much life left,” said Thomas.
Smith-Ames worked with Thomas’s family at DDR Steam and Pressure Washing in Rocky Mountain House for close to 10 years, Thomas said, adding she was like family.
“Everybody around here is feeling it, for sure. The ones who have been here a long time are all pretty affected by it. She was like a sister to so many,” said Thomas.
The entire community is reeling from the incident, she said.
“She was just the type of person who was friends with everybody and anybody, any age group. There are tons of people. I know it hit the community pretty hard,” Thomas said.
In a statement, Rocky Mountain House’s mayor said the town is “saddened by the tragic and senseless event in the community.”
“I know our residents are shocked and saddened by this tragedy,” said Mayor Tammy Burke.
Douglas, who grew up in Rocky Mountain House and now lives in Lacombe, is saddened by the loss of her friend.
“We’ve been trying to get together for a while (now), and life happens, and she fortunately got to come to my wedding last year. But we haven’t seen each other much, and it’s just sad that I won’t ever see her again,” said Douglas.
Douglas describes her friend as strong, unique and someone who loved everyone.
“She had such a big heart and she wanted to do everything she could for her son, and her family and friends. She wanted the best for everyone,” said Douglas.
“Nothing ever bothered her. She was always there to listen, to talk. She just had a very genuine heart.”
Thomas has set up a trust for Smith-Ames’s son, Keegan Walton, who will turn five in August. The money is to help the young boy in the future.
Thomson said donors can deposit money into Scotiabank account 10579-06236-28.
Thomson decided to help fundraise for Keegan’s future because that’s what her mom would’ve wanted, the friend said.