You start questioning what you know: Babchuk

Police communities left reeling after St. Albert shooting

The shooting this past weekend of two RCMP officers in St. Albert has shaken up the RCMP from coast to coast, and the members in Stettler are no different.

Const. David Wynn and Aux. Const. Derek Bond were shot on Saturday, Jan. 17 at a Casino in the community after entering to investigate the presence of a stolen vehicle. Bond was shot twice, and has been since released, but Wynn was shot once, in the head, and was taken off life support by his family on Tuesday.

The two constables had little warning that Shawn Rehn, who had an extensive criminal record, had a weapon. As they approached the man, he pulled out the gun and shot them. Neither constable had time to react.

“You start questioning your tactics,” Sgt. Duncan Babchuk, commander of the Stettler RCMP detachment, said. “Who’s ready for that? You think about how you’d deal with it – there’s all kinds of guys like (Rehn) walking around out there. It’s almost impossible to keep them in (jail).”

In this particular case, it’s unlikely the constables could have done anything different, as Rehn allegedly opened fire without provocation, but the RCMP will be examining the incident as part of the investigation to see if there’s any changes needing to be made.

Coronation RCMP seek witnesses in fatal crash

A 19-year-old Castor man was killed in a single-vehicle collision on around 3:45 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 19, and police are looking for people with information about the matter.

Coronation RCMP, Castor EMS and Fire responded to the rollover at the intersection of highways 12 and 36 near Castor, where the driver was declared dead. According to RCMP, it appears the driver of the vehicle was not wearing his seatbelt.

Anyone with information about the accident or the driver are asked to call Coronation RCMP at 403-578-3666.

Rash of vehicle break-ins on weekend

A 25-year-old Stettler man did the right thing and got a ride home after having a few drinks Sunday night, but in doing so left his truck behind at the curling rink.

When he returned the next morning, Jan. 19, to pick up the truck he found someone had tried to steal it.

“When he returned to the curling rink to retrieve his vehicle, it had been forcibly entered and the dashboard was found to be heavily damaged,” Babchuk revealed.

Sometime also in the early morning hours of Monday, an Ford F-350 was also broken into, this time on 47 Street. The vehicle was entered through the rear window and the ignition switch as punched out of the steering column.

And again on Monday morning, a Pontiac Sunfire was stolen from a residence on 50 Street and 51 Avenue. According to police, the keys had been left in the vehicle and the doors unlocked.

“Evidence indicates that all three incidents could be related and there may be a further connection to similar events that have been reported throughout the winter,” Babchuk said, mentioning the yet-unsolved rash of tire slashing in December.

The public is being advised to lock their vehicles overnight, do not leave any keys inside and leave no valuables, in particular, wallets, computers, cellular phones and cash money.

If anyone has any information regarding these reported incidents, please phone the Stettler RCMP at 403-742-3382 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).