Two dead following evening of violence
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the St. Paul Journal's website following the shooting in St. Paul and a midnight press conference held at the town hall. Facts have been updated.
RCMP and the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team were dealing with numerous crime scenes in St. Paul following a series of incidents on Friday involving a multiple vehicle collision and the exchange of gunfire on main street. Two men have been confirmed dead following a media conference at midnight on May 10, however it has yet to be determined if the fatalities are connected.
RCMP Chief Superintendent and District Commander Eastern Alberta District Randy McGinnis confirmed that three RCMP officers were injured as a result of the gunfire and collision, however none of their injuries are believed to be life threatening. Two of the officers have since been released from hospital.
“This is the scene of a movie, I've seen movie scenes that weren't as horrific as this,” said McGinnis. “I've spoken to all the members, and I have to admit that this is a horrific crime scene. I was shaken by it to the point where I couldn't properly text a message to get to my commanding officer to let them know what was going on.”
At approximately 5:55 p.m. on Friday evening, RCMP members at the St. Paul detachment heard gunshots outside the office and exited the building to investigate, said McGinnis. Upon exiting the detachment, RCMP identified a black Dodge pickup truck leaving the parking lot, and began searching for the vehicle in town.
“We suspected this was the vehicle that was involved, or was the cause of the shots fired, and our members left the office to try and locate the vehicle that sped eastbound on 50 Ave. into the main downtown core area,” said McGinnis, adding that minutes later, RCMP received a separate call regarding a man in distress. “At approximately 5:58 p.m. our telecoms in Edmonton received a call that a male was in distress and needed assistance, and another group of officers attended that area of St. Paul. That person was taken to the St. Therese hospital and was pronounced dead, deceased, by the attending physician sometime after 6 p.m.”
The man was later identified as Father Gilbert Dasna, a priest with the Diocese of St. Paul.
A few minutes later, RCMP located the black Dodge pickup truck speeding westbound down Main Street, back toward the downtown core.
“Then at the corner of 48 St. and 50 Ave., this vehicle appears to purposely ram one of our marked police vehicles. The impact of the collision trapped one of our members inside the vehicle and disabled both vehicles . . . There are bits and pieces of vehicle all over the street, half a block away. That tells me that the impact, and the speed that he was traveling when he struck our vehicle was excessive,” he said, adding that multiple weapons were recovered from the black Dodge. “The driver of the black Dodge pickup truck then took a firearm and began to fire at the second and third members that were on the scene. Our members returned fire and as a result of this gunfight, the driver of the black Dodge pickup was deceased at the scene.”
The driver of the black Dodge pickup truck was later identified as John Carlos Quadros, owner of Health Mart 2000 in St. Paul.
Health Mart 2000's website describes Quadros' philosophy on natural medicine, stating, “Herbs and the natural way of healing as a GOD given right to us as his children continues. Laws are passed by governments (sic) to control access to herbal and natural products and discourage their use: thus protecting the various agendas of the big billion dollar corporations even if it means the suffering and death of countless numbers. May GOD protect you and the TRUTH set You FREE.”
McGinnis said that multiple weapons were recovered from the black Dodge pickup following the shootout, however he could not confirm how many.
“We have several weapons but at this time it is too early to tell you what they were or who they belong to. None of that will be moved or examined until our forensic identification unit finishes with those crime scenes,” he said. “I know there were more than two (weapons), and I only know that because of the shell casings I observed, but that's it.”
McGinnis added three RCMP officers were injured as a result of the incident, and as of Monday's press deadline, one female officer remains in hospital in Edmonton.
“The member that was in the pickup truck that was pinned had to be extracted using the jaws of life and has been airlifted to the University of Alberta hospital. As well, one of the members that was at the scene received a wound to the hand as the result of a gunshot and he has been transported to the Edmonton university hospital,” said McGinnis, later adding that the member who suffered a gunshot wound to the hand was released from hospital in Edmonton. “One other member was injured at the scene as a result of gunshots from the suspect towards his police vehicle, and was injured by glass to the face area.”
McGinnis confirmed that despite the timing of the incident, no bystanders were hurt, and asked anyone who may have witness the event to contact the St. Paul RCMP tip line.
“Thankfully no (bystanders were injured), because this did occur at 6 p.m. when stores were closing and a lot of people would have been going back and forth,” he said. “I would ask this, anyone that would have any information as a result of this – it occurred right around 6 p.m. and I would suspect that there would have been a lot of people on the streets coming out of restaurants and possibly coming out of some of the downtown stores – if they have any information I would appreciate it if they would call our tip line, and that is (780) 645-8845.”
St. Paul Mayor Glenn Andersen said he believes Friday's events are an isolated incident, and encouraged the town to come together in support of those affected.
“Something like this incident has never happened in St. Paul before. St. Paul is a family oriented community and is a very safe community, so something like this I believe to be an isolated incident . . . I encourage everyone to be there and support the families all affected by this,” said Andersen. “We're happy to say that the RCMP are going to push through, the injuries aren't life threatening, but it's a small community and we've got to be with the families of everyone involved in this.”
RCMP and ASIRT remained on scene at the intersection of 48 St. and 50 Ave. until Saturday evening.