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‘What if, what if, what if:’ inquiry hears details about Alberta Mountie’s death


ST. ALBERT, Alta. – The widow of an Alberta RCMP officer killed while trying to make an arrest spoke at a fatality inquiry Thursday to the mother of the man who pulled the trigger.

“My heart hurts because you lost your son,” Shelly Wynn said to Monalisa Rehn, whose son, Shaun Rehn, gunned down Const. David Wynn, at an Edmonton-area casino before killing himself in 2015.  “He was failed. We are failed.”

Wynn spoke at the end of a two-day inquiry into the events surrounding the two deaths.
David Wynn, 42, had been investigating a stolen truck in the parking lot of the Apex Casino in St. Albert, just north of Edmonton.

Shaun Rehn, 34, was a career criminal wanted on warrants who had been released on bail on various charges in Edmonton four months earlier.

After shooting Wynn in the head and wounding another officer in the casino, Rehn broke into a nearby abandoned home and shot himself in the face as officers surrounded it.

The inquiry also heard details about Rehn’s last bail hearing. At the time, police officers often stood in for Crown prosecutors in such hearings.

Edmonton police Const. Wilson Quan testified that he acted for the Crown at Rehn’s hearing and consented to his release.

At first he wanted Rehn held in custody, Quan said. But after discussions with Rehn’s lawyer, who argued there were problems with the charges and Rehn was turning his life around, Quan agreed to a joint bail submission.

“We went back and forth,” Quan said. “We eventually came down to the amount of $4,500.”
Based on information he had at the time, Quan said he believes he made the right decision.
“In hindsight …,” he said, not finishing the sentence.

Loreena Harris, a lawyer appearing for the Edmonton Police Service, told court that Quan had done everything right.

“If Crown counsel had handled (the hearing), there is no evidence before the court that the outcome would have been any different,” she said.

Shelly Wynn made a similar point when she addressed the inquiry. Quan said outside court that he was touched by the widow’s support.

“Whenever a fellow police officer dies and you get pointed at the blame, you always have hindsight and you think what if, what if, what if,” Quan told reporters.  “I knew I didn’t do anything wrong. However, it never erases the feeling.”

Rehn’s mother told the hearing that her son had a difficult, drug-warped youth.

“You get with the wrong crowd, you’re pressed to do wrong things,” she later said outside court. “He ended up in jail. You go in there and you come out worse.”

Shelly Wynn acknowledged that measures have already been taken to prevent a similar situation happening again.

Bail hearings in Alberta are now handled by Crown prosecutors. Activities for RCMP auxiliary constables have also been restricted.

Other changes still need to be made, Wynn said, such as improvements to RCMP radio equipment that are taking too long.

But the real issues that led to her husband’s death lay beyond the inquiry, she said.
Shelly Wynn has started a foundation in her husband’s name to try and help future Shaun Rehns make better choices, she said.

“Entering the school systems and trying to break that cycle, identifying children who do need the help and do not have the support at home and giving them the support that they need,” she said.

Provincial court Judge Bruce Garriock will now write his report. Fatality inquiries are not held to establish blame, but to develop recommendations to prevent similar events from occurring.

“This is truly a sad and tragic situation,” he said as he closed the proceedings.

Copyright (c) 2019 The Canadian Press