Edmonton police lay murder charges in 2 Chinatown deaths

Click to play video: 'Edmonton auto body shop owner grieves employee who was killed'
Edmonton auto body shop owner grieves employee who was killed
The owner of an autobody shop in Edmonton’s Chinatown neighbourhood is devastated after an employee who was with him from the start of his 33-year-old business was fatally attacked Wednesday. As Nicole Stillger reports, business owners in the area says something needs to change – May 20, 2022

Editor’s note: This story initially confused the identities of the victims, but has since been updated after Edmonton police issued a correction. 

Murder charges have been laid after two men in their 60s were killed at businesses in central Edmonton’s Chinatown area this week.

Police initially responded to one attack Wednesday afternoon at an auto body shop near 106 Avenue and 98 Street, before quickly discovering another man had also been hurt a block away.

Anthony Hai, the owner of Albert’s Auto Body, said his employee Hung Trang, 64, had been with him from the start of his 33-year business.

Hai told Global News a stranger came into the shop and was asked to leave. But then, Hai realized his employee had already been hurt in the corner of the building and other workers had called 911.

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Trang was taken to hospital in serious, life-threatening condition but he died Thursday. His autopsy is scheduled to take place after the long weekend, on Tuesday, May 24.

A 36-year-old suspect was arrested after witnesses told police what had happened. Hai said a security team he employs confronted the suspect and held him until police arrived.

Click to play video: 'Police investigating 2 suspicious deaths in downtown Edmonton'
Police investigating 2 suspicious deaths in downtown Edmonton

While investigating the attack at the auto body shop attack, police were made aware of another incident a block south, at 105 Avenue and 98 Street.

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When officers got there, another injured man was found. EMS responded and the 61-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

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On Friday, Edmonton police said an autopsy determined Ban Phuc Hoang, 61, died of blunt force injuries to the head and neck and the manner of death is homicide.

Police said Justin Bone, 36, has been charged with second-degree murder and robbery in relation to Hoang’s death.

Bone is also charged with a another count of second-degree murder in the death of Trang.

Bone was not known to either of the victims, police said, adding investigators are not looking for any additional suspects.

Click to play video: 'Suspicious deaths, violence over 24 hours has Edmonton police redirecting more officers downtown'
Suspicious deaths, violence over 24 hours has Edmonton police redirecting more officers downtown

The deaths among a rash of violent crimes in central Edmonton this week.

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Between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Edmonton Police Service Chief Dale McFee said there the two deaths in Chinatown, a brazen shooting outside a pub near Jasper Avenue, a pedestrian collision and a stabbing at the Bay-Enterprise LRT station, in addition to other lesser crimes and calls officers responded to.

Police are now pulling resources from other areas of the city in order to crack down on the downtown violence.

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