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Officers did not interact with Chinatown deaths suspect as previously reported: Edmonton police

Click to play video: 'Chinatown homicides focus of Edmonton Police Commission meeting' Chinatown homicides focus of Edmonton Police Commission meeting
Edmonton police service has issued a correction to how it interacted with the man accused in connection to two deaths in Chinatown – Jun 16, 2022

Christina Trang left Thursday’s Edmonton Police Commission meeting with more questions than she arrived with.

Her father, 64-year-old Hung Trang, was one of the men killed in Chinatown, May 18. Ban Hoang, 61, was also killed.

“It’s important to know why this happened to my dad, and everything that lead up to it,” Trang said.

Police chief Dale McFee told the commission they got some initial details wrong on June 10, when releasing how officers interacted with the accused, Justin Bone, prior to the deaths in Chinatown.

Read more: Suspect in Chinatown killings was dropped off by RCMP in west Edmonton, despite condition orders

On Thursday, EPS corporate communications issued a correction. It said its statement from last week incorrectly stated that officers had an interaction with the accused, Justin Bone, on May 15.

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“We are now aware that after receiving a call from a complainant, EPS officers evaluated the situation based on the information provided by the RCMP. As no criminal offense had been reported and EPS officers could not arrest Mr. Bone for being in Edmonton, EPS officers concluded the call and did not interact with Mr. Bone,” the correction said.

McFee elaborated at Thursday’s police commission meeting.

“Although EPS’ connection to Mr. Bone before these deaths was minimal, we do not want to over-emphasize others’ roles or lessen our own,” McFee said.

RCMP said on Sunday, May 15, officers from the Parkland County detachment responded to a complaint of threats at a home in Alberta Beach, allegedly involving Bone.

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Alberta Justice said he had been released from the Edmonton Remand Centre in late April and was staying at the home west of Edmonton.

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Police responded, heard both sides, and after speaking with the detachment’s domestic violence coordinator, determined the situation didn’t meet the threshold for charges.

Despite that, RCMP said the homeowner stated Bone could no longer stay at their home.

Bone had been under conditions not to be in Edmonton at all. RCMP brought him to the city because he was without a home and needed access to support services.

Read more: Alberta Justice refutes Edmonton mayor’s claim about Chinatown suspect’s release

RCMP said the responding officers consulted with their supervisor and decided the best move was to bring Bone to a place where he could get the help he needed.

The decision was made to drop Bone off near a social services hub in the west end of Edmonton and notify city police, RCMP said.

“To be clear, the RCMP do not make decisions for EPS, but when RCMP granted permission for Mr. Bone to be in Edmonton, the EPS lost any ability to breach Mr. Bone for being in Edmonton,” McFee said.

“However, if EPS officers found the subject breaching his other conditions like a curfew, police could detain him. This did not occur.”

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Three days after Bone was left in Edmonton, the two men in Chinatown were fatally attacked.

Click to play video: 'Daughter of Chinatown victim Ban Hoang speaks out' Daughter of Chinatown victim Ban Hoang speaks out
Daughter of Chinatown victim Ban Hoang speaks out – Jun 12, 2022

Police initially responded to an assault on Trang at an auto body shop near 106 Avenue and 98 Street, before quickly discovering Hoang had also been hurt a block away. Both men died of their injuries.

“Our hearts continue to go out to the families of Mr. Hoang and Mr. Trang and the greater Chinatown community during this difficult time,” McFee said.

Bone was not known to either of the victims, Edmonton police said.

Bone has a lengthy criminal history that includes, aggravated assaults, thefts, mischief, and failing to comply with his court-ordered conditions.

He has a lifetime firearms ban stemming from a sexual interference conviction.

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RCMP is conducting an independent review on the decisions officers made, the operational policies and procedures currently in places that guide decisions like these.

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