OHS Canada Magazine

Man charged with first-degree murder in shooting death of store employee in Alberta


December 14, 2021
By The Canadian Press

Health & Safety alberta fatality shooting

By Daniela Germano

Police say a 21-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of an employee at a store in west-central Alberta last month.

RCMP Insp. Rick Jane said Monday that officers responded to a report of a shooting at a business in Edson, Alta., about 200 kilometres west of Edmonton, on Nov. 4. Jane said a man went into the business with a firearm and tried to rob it.

A store employee, who Jane identified as Cordell MacLellan, 44, of Edson, was shot before another employee was assaulted.

Jane said the shooter fled the scene in a stolen vehicle that was found unoccupied nearby. The firearm was left at the scene.

MacLellan was rushed to hospital where he later died. The other employee, a 32-year-old man, was injured but did not need to go to hospital, Jane said.

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Brent Dumas of Yellowhead County, Alta., was arrested in a wooded area east of Edson on Saturday and charged with first-degree murder, possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of a firearm contrary to an order and assault with a weapon.

Investigators are not disclosing the name of the business or whether it was targeted.

“We are sensitive to the fact that any time a tragedy occurs, that tragedy itself is traumatic, obviously for the people who lost loved ones, and for the employees,” Jane said.

“It also can have potentially negative impacts on the business itself, so we are not looking to compound any of those impacts.”

He said the RCMP did not release a description of the suspect at the time “as it would be so vague that it would have had little investigative value.”

Jane also said that the force fielded concerns from the public that no emergency alert was issued when Dumas fled in the wooded area in an attempt to evade arrest.

“If we were to create an environment where the offender or the suspect felt like he was being hunted and spooked, that can actually escalate the risk to the public because that person can become desperate and try to take evasive action.”

Dumas is to appear in Edson provincial court on Jan. 18.

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