RCMP in Hobbema are applauding a five-year jail term handed down to a man for a drive-by shooting of a woman on the Samson Cree Nation reserve in April 2010.
Clinton Roy Green, 20, of Samson Cree Nation was convicted of aggravated assault on Thursday, following a trial in Wetaskiwin provincial court. He was sentenced to five years and given 18 months credit for being in custody, so his remaining sentence is 42 months.
Green was arrested after shots were fired in the Samson townsite at 1:15 a.m. on April 30, 2010. A woman in a home was hit in the abdomen and taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
A police dog tracked Green down several blocks away. Police didn’t believe the woman was the intended target but said that the shooting was gang related.
Maskwacis (Hobbema) RCMP say they hope a sentence of this magnitude will discourage this type of activity in the community and show that “this activity will not be tolerated.”
“He should be out of our hair for the next while,” said spokesman Const. Perry Cardinal on Tuesday. “I think with the local people, that’s a good thing.”
Cardinal said this is the first conviction of someone involved in a shooting since the 2008 shooting of 23-month-old Asia Saddleback. In that case, Christopher Stephen Crane, 20, of Hobbema, was handed a 13-year sentence after pleading guilty in the drive-by shooting of the little girl, who recovered but will forever have a bullet lodged in her body.
The community of Hobbema — which has four First Nations reserves — has been racked by gang violence.
A number of other shootings remain unsolved, including the death of 23-year-old Chelsea Yellowbird in September. She was a distant aunt to Ethan Yellowbird, five, who was shot and killed two months earlier in the home next to where Chelsea died. He was asleep in his bed in the Samson Cree townsite when a bullet was shot from outside his home.
Police are actively investigating those two cases.
“I believe we have some good information, but we’re not sharing it with anyone because we still have some other investigative avenues to look at,” said Cardinal.
More reports of gunfire have come as recently as Friday at Louis Bull Tribe’s First Nation.
Cardinal said they heard that the shots were fired into the air, next to a house.
“We took (six) people in custody who said they might have been firecrackers but we actually had a call that someone had a gun. But we weren’t able to recover any weapons.”
Those six people have since been released.
Police have partnered with the community to come up with ways to crack down on the violence.
Cardinal said that adults within the Samson Cree Nation will vote on Jan. 4 on whether they want a residency bylaw. This bylaw would evict “undesirables” and strip them of their band entitlements.
“So people like Mr. Green, if they don’t live up to certain standards, would not be living there,” said Cardinal.
Hobbema RCMP Sgt. Ralph Cardinal first brought forward the idea of an eviction bylaw to Hobbema First Nations in 2008 after seeing its impact at Enoch Cree Nation, located on the western edge of Edmonton.
Ralph Cardinal said earlier that Samson Cree would be the first and the largest of the four Hobbema bands to adopt the bylaw that would deal with people accused or convicted of gang-related crimes like drug trafficking, domestic violence and more.