Edmonton police announced Thursday that they have evidence suggesting the gun used to kill two constables at an apartment building last week was also used in a shooting at a Pizza Hut near the residence days earlier.
“A bullet casing recovered from the scene of a March 12, 2023 shooting at a nearby restaurant in the area of 133 Street and 114 Avenue has been forensically matched to the firearm that was recovered at the 132 Street and 114 Avenue apartment, where Const. Brett Ryan and Const. Travis Jordan were fatally shot on March 16, 2023,” police said in a news release Thursday.
The Pizza Hut shooting sent a man to hospital with serious injuries. Police said Thursday he remains there in critical condition.
The Edmonton Police Service held a news conference on Thursday afternoon to provide an update on the investigation. Deputy chief Devin Laforce said investigators continue to believe the suspect’s mother and father were not aware there was a gun in their home.
He added that it is still not clear what motivated the shootings, but “that’s definitely something we want to get into.”
“There’s other exhibit items such as our… (suspect’s) phone and computer,” Laforce said. “We’ll have some answers we hope.”
Jordan, 35, and Ryan, 30, were fatally shot by a 16-year-old male when they responded to a call at an apartment building in the Inglewood neighbourhood last Thursday.
An autopsy later confirmed they died of gunshot wounds and that they were homicide victims.
The suspect is also dead. Police said they believe he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while his mother was hospitalized after being injured in what police believe was a struggle with her son that began after the shots were first fired.
EPS said an autopsy confirmed the youth died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Police have said they believe the officers were shot before they even had a chance to defend themselves.
When asked if Jordan and Ryan were hit by bullets fired through an apartment door, Laforce said investigators do not believe that is what happened at this point.
Laforce added that police have decided not to release the suspect’s name at this point, primarily because they believe doing so may impact their investigation.
“The firearm and how the youth got that firearm is of paramount importance,” he said, adding that if someone illegally provided the suspect with the weapon used in the killings, that person is likely to be very fearful of legal consequences of their actions.
Laforce said police continue to work on tracing the gun used in the shootings and declined to answer when asked what type of gun it is.
At the same news conference, Shane Perka, the superintendent of the EPS’ criminal investigations division said he was able to provide more details on police interactions with the suspect in the months before the killings, an encounter that he previously described as being non-criminal.
“We can now share that this youth was apprehended under the Mental Health Act by our officers,” Perka said, noting that occurred in November.
Police said the teen was apprehended by officers and taken to hospital for an assessment after they consulted with crisis teams. No further details were provided.
Police said Thursday that toxicology results are pending and it may be some time until police are able to confirm if the teen had any medication or drugs in his system at the time of the shootings.
Laforce said the suspect’s mother remains in hospital and was in stable condition as of Thursday afternoon. He noted she is currently unable to speak but is able to communicate by writing. He added police want to interview her more once she is released from hospital.
Last week, police said the father, who was not injured in the shootings, was also co-operating with investigators.
The killings have brought on an outpouring of support throughout the Edmonton area. On Tuesday, hundreds of people lined the route taken by two hearses carrying the two slain constables’ bodies from the medical examiner’s office to a funeral home.
A regimental funeral for the officers will take place Monday afternoon at Rogers Place.