Edmonton body shop owner mourns employee who was killed – Edmonton

The owner of a body shop in Edmonton’s Chinatown is devastated after an employee who had been with him since the start of his 33-year-old business was fatally attacked on Wednesday.

“I’m miserable, terrible,” said Anthony Hai, owner of Albert’s Auto Body since 1989. “But we still have to deal with it.”

Late Wednesday afternoon, a 64-year-old employee was assaulted at the store near 106 Avenue and 98 Street.

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Serious Assault at Edmonton Auto Body Shop Leaves Person with Serious Injuries

“I was at my desk here, taking care of some of my clients,” Hai recalled. “Then word got out that a stranger entered the store…We politely asked him to leave, without any confrontation.”

But then Hai realized that his employee had already been injured in the corner of the building and other workers had called 911.

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“I followed (the stranger) as closely but as safely as possible because I don’t know what kind of weapon he has… The worker who was injured is unconscious. I followed him until the security team that I called – I’m hiring a security team here for part of the business – they confronted him and kind of held him away before the police arrived.

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Edmonton body shop owner mourns employee who was killed

Edmonton body shop owner mourns employee who was killed

“The first thing is that I hope he recovers,” Hai said on Friday. “That was my main concern.

“Everything was going so fast. I was just hoping it was actually a nightmare. It’s really overwhelming.

The 64-year-old was taken to hospital in serious life-threatening condition but died on Thursday.

Hai described Hung Trang as an incredibly hard worker.

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“Over the years he was basically trying to slow down a bit. Frankly, he’s preparing to retire in February next year. When it happened, I couldn’t believe it.

“We were even talking about throwing him a party,” Hai said.

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Police are investigating 2 suspicious deaths in downtown Edmonton

Police are investigating 2 suspicious deaths in downtown Edmonton

A 36-year-old suspect has been arrested after witnesses told police what happened.

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

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

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Edmonton police lay murder charges in 2 Chinatown deaths

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Police said Friday that Justin Bone, 36, has been charged with second-degree murder and robbery in connection with Trang’s death. Police said he died of blunt force injuries to his head and neck. The mode of death is homicide.

Bone is also charged with another count of second degree murder in the 61-year-old’s death.

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

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Also on Thursday, Police Chief Dale McFee said he was pulling resources from other parts of the city to quell the wave of violent crime in central Edmonton.

“Two people have lost their lives and there’s a whole bunch of other serious stuff about it,” McFee said at City Hall after speaking at a meeting of the City Police Commission. Edmonton.

Edmonton Police are investigating suspicious deaths in Chinatown Thursday, May 19, 2022.

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But Hai doesn’t think reallocating police resources to the area will improve the situation in the long run.

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Although nothing like a fatal assault had ever happened before in his memory, Hai said there had been more crime in the area over the past five years or so.

“I’m still not scared or nervous. I’m just more angry than anything.

“I think there has to be a change,” he said.

“With all the social agencies that are concentrated in this area…I think all three levels of government should be involved in trying to minimize the number of people coming in – wherever they come from: out of town, in the city itself, or maybe they’re just getting out of jail… just finding a way to put them in a safer place for us to be safer.

Police resources are limited, he stressed.

“The police only have so many resources, and when the police say they’re going to put more people downtown, that means they’re going to reduce the police in other areas of the city, which means it could be where I live.

“If so, then are we winning? Are we better? Probably not.”

Hai believes redeploying police resources is a “short-term” solution. But, he will not even have the idea of ​​moving his shop.

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“I’ve been in this field ever since I started my apprenticeship in this trade,” he says. “I’m not going to let them win.”

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Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said he was devastated by the news that two Edmontonians were lost in violent and horrific activity.

“My heart goes out to the community,” the mayor said Friday.

Sohi said he was happy to hear more police being redirected to where they are needed most. Still, he said he believes the Edmonton Police Service “is adequately funded.”

“We provide $385 million every year to the police and they determine where those police resources should be allocated. We have one of the best funded police services in Canada and they do a phenomenal job.

“It’s a matter of resource allocation. Resources must go where the needs are greatest,” the mayor said.

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“I’m glad the police department is allocating more resources now, but I’m also disappointed that … those resources should have been there from day one. We have seen a decrease in police presence downtown over the past two months.

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“Yes, I understand that now the Chief of Police is allocating more resources. I hope these resources will make a difference, provide certainty to the community and address the criminal activity that is taking place in Chinatown and the city center.

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Edmonton councilors consider how to determine and allocate police funding

Edmonton councilors consider how to determine and allocate police funding

Sohi also pointed out that there is a big difference between vulnerable populations and those causing trouble and criminal activity.

“We need to be compassionate…to the most vulnerable – people struggling with homelessness, people struggling with addictions, people struggling with trauma.

“But we also need to make sure that we get tough on the criminals who exploit the vulnerable population and the criminals who cause so much harm to the community and to businesses.”

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