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Crime

1 dead after shooting in Airdrie: EMS

WATCH: People in a southwest Airdrie community have been left shaken following a shooting that killed one man Saturday evening. As Josh Ritchie reports, neighbours heard the shots ring out and worked to save the man’s life.

UPDATE: 1st-degree murder charge laid in Airdrie shooting death

One person was killed after a shooting in Airdrie, Alta., on Saturday, according to EMS and RCMP.

Emergency crews responded to reports of a person being shot near Canoe Close at around 5 p.m.

RCMP said a 57-year-old man was shot; EMS confirmed a person died at the scene.

Police later said the man was found injured outside a home and was pronounced dead a short time later.

“Airdrie RCMP have one [male] in custody and believe that there is no further threat to the public at this time,” police said in a news release issued Saturday night.

Police said Sunday that the incident wasn’t domestic- or gang-related, but added that they believe the victim and suspect knew each other and lived on the same street.

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Officers did not say if charges were pending.

Alfie Betker, who lives nearby, said he heard the bangs that sounded like a car backfiring. He said it didn’t immediately register that a shooting happened. Then, he heard someone screaming for help.

After rushing outside, he said he saw a woman covered in blood and first assumed she was the one who was hurt.

“As I saw the body, she yelled out, ‘My husband’s been shot!’ It took a second to register, but I saw him lying face down covered in blood. I looked around immediately — it’s not the neighbourhood you’d associate with a shooting,” Betker​ said.

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“So I stopped and looked around. I didn’t know what to assess of it.”

He said neighbours called 911 while he provided first aid.

“He was breathing,” Betker​ said of the victim. “He did have a pulse when I first assessed him, and his wife put pressure on the wound that we could see. I grabbed my first aid kit from my wife… and told her to keep our daughter inside, away from the scene.”

The family waited in the basement once officers took over the site and made an arrest.

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Betker​ said he moved to the area four years ago, choosing to live there because it was a nice, quiet neighbourhood with a lot of families.

“When anything happens like this around your house, it’s something that bothers you, something that you don’t suspect, something that takes time to process,” he said.

“It was a shock to have a neighbour one minute and not the next.”

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Cpl. Gina Slaney said the incident startled many people in the area.

“It is our first homicide in a few years and it’s not something that happens very often, so people are afraid,” she said Sunday. “Facebook has blown up, as I’m sure you can imagine, and people are concerned. But I do want to stress that at no time do we believe anybody else was in jeopardy during this incident.”

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to call the Airdrie RCMP detachment at 403-945-7200 or their local police department. Tips can also be anonymously submitted by contacting Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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