Teen charged with murder in Maskwacis

A 16-year-old male from the Samson Cree Nation has been charged with first-degree murder in a fatal shooting in Maskwacis on Thursday.

A 16-year-old male from the Samson Cree Nation has been charged with first-degree murder in a fatal shooting in Maskwacis on Thursday.

Maskwacis RCMP believe the shooting of 20-year-old Jacob Soosay as he was getting out of a vehicle at the Samson Cree Nation townsite was gang-related. Officers responded to the shooting at 11 p.m. on Thursday.

The youth charged cannot be named. He was arrested the next day and has been remanded in custody. He appeared in Edmonton Youth Court on Monday morning and will appear in Wetaskiwin provincial youth court on Wednesday. The youth is also charged with obstruction of justice.

In a press conference on Monday, Insp. Charles Wood with the Maskwacis RCMP detachment credited the community in helping with the investigation leading to the swift arrest.

“They’re tired of the violence,” he said, referencing residents of the community of over 12,500 north of Ponoka. “We’re seeing co-operation from every aspect of the community.”

The shooting took place the same week that $2.9 million in federal funding for a gang reduction initiative was announced for the community formerly known as Hobbema. The money, to be spent over five years, is for a program that will see former gang members engaging with youth in the community and providing alternatives to the gang lifestyle.

On the day of his death, Soosay posted a photo to his Facebook account of a handgun and his gang colours under the words “Ready for (whatever) … brothers.”

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