Suspect dead, hostage released from home after bank robbery in north Edmonton

Click to play video: 'Woman held hostage in northeast Edmonton' Woman held hostage in northeast Edmonton
A northeast Edmonton community was on edge for hours on Monday after a woman was taken hostage. As Sarah Komadina reports, it all started with a bank robbery – Dec 1, 2021

A man suspected of robbing a bank in north Edmonton is dead after police say he barricaded himself and a hostage inside a home that was not his on Monday.

Police said a man fled the scene of a bank robbery near 127 Avenue and 97 Street at around 1:30 p.m.

“A tracker was actually identified on some of the money that was stolen, and real-time information came into our responding patrol officers from northeast division,” said Insp. Keith Johnson.

Read more: Police looking for 2 suspects after $100K jewelry heist at Edmonton’s Southgate Centre

Police found a suspect “very quickly,” he said, mentioning a foot chase transpired.

The “robbery suspect burst into a residence” at 83 Street and 130 Avenue and locked himself and a woman inside, Johnson said. The two did not know each other.

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Police responded to a hostage situation in Edmonton on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Global News

Johnson said a large number of resources responded to the Killarney neighbourhood, including the tactical unit, crisis negotiators and a mental health professional.

After “efforts by professional negotiators,” the lone hostage was released at 5:30 p.m., police said.
Police initially said the hostage was unharmed but later clarified that she suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

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Officers entered the home around 6 p.m. and found the suspect, a 36-year-old man, dead. There was no one else inside.

A rare incident

Hostage situations are rare in Edmonton, Johnson said.

“This being this random act and a hostage-taking is rare. To say it’s not stressful for everybody involved would be a lie,” he said, citing the professionalism of his colleagues.

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The goal is always to resolve the matter peacefully and safely, Johnson said, adding that responding units deal with “priorities of life.”

“Our first priority in this situation is our hostage victim. Period. That is the most important thing,” he said.

“Second priority is our other emergency services and members of the public… Thirdly is police officers, and number four is the subject because the subject always has the most control over these situations.”

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