Southgate Centre attack suspect wanted for murder has been arrested
Editor’s note: This story originally stated court records indicated Cushnie was convicted of aggravated assault just last month. However, Alberta Justice clarified that the charge had been withdrawn.
The man wanted for second-degree murder in the death of an Edmonton man who was brutally attacked at a south side shopping mall was arrested this weekend in northeastern Alberta.
Jordan Martin Cushnie, 23, was wanted on an Alberta-wide warrant for second-degree murder in the death of 61-year-old Iain Armstrong. Cushnie was also wanted for robbery, mischief under $5,000 and possession of break and enter tools.
Cushnie was arrested by Lac La Biche RCMP Sunday evening and has since been brought back to Edmonton, where he remains in police custody.
“Obviously, the EPS is very thankful we have this individual in custody,” Edmonton Police Service (EPS) spokesperson Caroline Maran said on Monday.
“It was very important for us to get this information out there and to arrest him as quickly as possible so we’re very thankful to the public, media and the RCMP for their assistance.”
RCMP said they received a tip from the public on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. that Cushnie was at a residence in Deer Meadows.
“As a result of a tip we were able to take this wanted individual into custody,” Cpl. Ronald Bumbry said. “We would like to thank the public as this tip ultimately lead to a quick arrest.
“Due to the significance and the seriousness of the charges, there was quite a significant police presence in Deer Meadows at the time of his arrest.”
Armstrong co-owned Bunches, a local flower company with five locations around Edmonton including inside Southgate Centre. He was attacked just before 10:30 a.m. Tuesday as he tried to stop a man who had allegedly stolen something off a kiosk outside their Southgate location.
The 61-year-old husband and father suffered a broken neck, a traumatic head injury and brain damage, and died in hospital on Friday afternoon.
Cushnie is known to police and was described as armed and dangerous. When issuing their arrest warrant, police said anyone with information about his whereabouts was asked not to approach him but contact authorities.
A police source told Global News Cushnie has connections to a local gang.
Cushnie has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 2013 when he was convicted of mischief and assault. He’s also been convicted of several other crimes, including theft under $5,000, assault, assault with a weapon, aggravated assault and possessing a controlled substance.
Armstrong started the flower company in 1991 along with his wife Sharon (pictured below on the right), and his brother Eric and sister-in-law Judy Armstrong ( pictured left).
On Sunday, his wife posted the following tribute to her husband on Facebook:
“Iain was an old-fashioned guy, like the strong hero in old western; never seeking attention, just quietly getting the job done. He protected and cherished women and children, his handshake was his bond, he didn’t mince words, he was a builder, an athlete, and a man of dignity and faith in God. He gave great bear hugs, was full of mischief, and believed every situation, no matter how serious, called for a generous portion of humour.”
“He never judged a person, and instantly offered a helping hand to anyone in need. No task was too big to take on, or too small to ignore. He never left for work without a kiss goodbye to Sharon, or finished a phone call without saying ‘love you!'”
“He believed in the strength of family, and was delighted to be working daily in partnership with his brother for the past 27 years. Iain extended that same loyalty and commitment to all his communities… church family, Bunches staff, swim officials, gym friends, Scotch club, golf buddies, neighbours, and especially his Thursday morning Water Buffaloes.”
A celebration of life for Iain will be held on Saturday at Laurier Baptist Church, which is the Armstrong’s home congregation.
A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help cover extra costs incurred by the family over the past week, as well as funeral expenses. The family said extra funds will be donated to Kids Kottage and the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Iain’s memory.
WATCH: Southgate Centre attack witnesses say a good Samaritan tried to stop a theft in progress – but paid for it with his life. Sarah Kraus has the story.
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