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Shooting leaves 1 dead, 6 injured at south Edmonton community hall

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WATCH ABOVE: We are hearing a first-hand account of a shooting inside a south Edmonton community hall over the weekend that turned deadly. Breanna Karstens-Smith spoke to the man who organized the party. – Aug 30, 2021

Homicide detectives with the Edmonton Police Service were called in to investigate a suspicious death in the Duggan neighbourhood on Sunday.

Police were called at around 4 a.m. to reports of a shooting at a community hall near 37 Avenue and 106 Street.

Officers arrived to find a dead man inside the hall. They said the victim was in his 20s.

Read more: Edmonton police investigating suspicious death in Mill Woods

Police said six other adult men were also injured and were treated in hospital. Of them, three were released Sunday. Two others were in hospital with non-life threatening injuries while one was in serious condition.

The man who rented out the hall for the event, whose name Global News has agreed not to publish, said it was a gathering that went horribly wrong.

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“I first heard one gun firing and I thought it was probably the balloon. But then after that I started hearing numerous gunshots and that’s where things got ugly,” he said.

The man said it was supposed to be a gathering for the Jamaican community — a family fun day. About 100 people were invited to the event but as the night went on, the party swelled to 200 people, including a group he did not know that he said suddenly opened fire.

“I would like the public to know that we Jamaicans, that we keep parties because it is a part of our culture. It’s how we celebrate our festivities. We keep parties to have a good time, not to shoot people, not to commit crime,” he said.

“I think people leaving from other event came to my event and things got spilled over.”

The man said he was forced to hide in the kitchen.

“The gunfire, it just continued, continued, continued. We had no chance of getting outside until the police came,” he said.

“We were in the kitchen locked away tight, very tight. We couldn’t come out, couldn’t make a sound until the police came.”

One man who police described as a suspect is in custody.

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Edmonton Police Service investigate a suspicious death inside the Duggan Community Centre on Sunday, August 29, 2021. Global News

Hours after the shooting, homicide police were still on scene going in and out of the Duggan Community Centre.

Read more: Man’s suspicious death prompts police investigation in north-central Edmonton

Police tape blocked off a parking lot with evidence markers spread across the pavement.

An autopsy on the victim was scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 2.

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