ST. ALBERT, Alta. – A fatality inquiry into the shooting death of a Mountie at an Edmonton-area casino heard Wednesday that the killer was wanted on 29 warrants and had drugs in his system.
Const. David Wynn, 42, was investigating a stolen truck in the bedroom community of St. Albert when he was killed in 2015.
Court heard during the first day of the inquiry that Wynn and an auxiliary constable, Derek Bond, found their suspect inside the casino and chased after him near some slot machines.
In a brief struggle, Shawn Rehn shot and wounded Bond before shooting Wynn in the head.
Wynn died in hospital three days later.
Sgt. Ken Bruns with the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team testified that Rehn then fled in the stolen truck and holed himself up in a nearby acreage. As the home was surrounded by officers, he killed himself. Burns said officers heard a shot and saw Rehn through a basement window.
“Mr. Rehn was lying on the floor on his back,” he said. “Mr. Rehn had a black pistol in his hand and had shot himself in the face.”
Medical examiner, Dr. Mitchell Weinberg, testified that Rehn had used cocaine and a high quantity of methamphetamine before his suicide.
Court also heard that Rehn was wanted on 29 different warrants, including several orders to appear in court, related to four separate crimes.
Shortly after the shooting, senior RCMP officers questioned why Rehn had been out on the street and Alberta’s justice minister called for a review of how the case was handled.
It was determined that Rehn had been released after a bail hearing where a police officer was present instead of a Crown prosecutor. The officer consented to a defence lawyer’s request for bail and no mention was made at the hearing of Rehn’s lengthy criminal record.
Alberta has since stopped using officers instead of Crown lawyers during bail hearings. The RCMP’s use of auxiliary constables has also been restricted.
Shelly Wynn said she hopes politicians take seriously any recommendations from the inquiry into her husband’s death.
“These inquiries are done because of safety issues or to better the organization. And I think it’s important that if a judge is making those recommendations they should really follow through with them,” she said.
Wynn earlier attempted to get a law passed to require prosecutors to attend bail hearings and reveal the applicant’s criminal history. While the first objective has been achieved, she said the second is still unfulfilled.
“There still is that loophole,” she said. “It’s not mandatory for officers or prosecutors to bring all that information forward. “I think it’s something they do have to address.”
Wynn said it’s been a long road for her and her family. She is raising three boys, now 17, 19 and 20.
She credits help from a group called Camp FACES, which assists first-responder families suffering from sudden trauma, with making a big difference.
“They are absolutely amazing and have been a huge support for myself and my family.”
Wynn said it was at Camp FACES that the whole family learned a vital lesson. “Seeing the families who have children who are much, much younger who have lost their fathers or their mothers, I’m thankful (my sons) got to spend a lot of time and have a lot of memories of their dad,” she said.
“As I see all of these families, I truly am thankful that they did have the time they did with him.”