Trial begins for man accused of shooting 2 outside Edmonton apartment, firing at officers

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A man accused of gunning down two people outside an Edmonton apartment building, then firing at police officers during a chase, faced his first day of trial Monday.

Dagmawi Abebe Admasu, 32, was charged with first-degree murder following the July 23, 2016, shooting death of Daniel David Holly.

Holly, 34, died in hospital four days after being shot in the parking lot of an apartment building in northeast Edmonton. A woman was also struck in the shooting and needed emergency surgery to her wrist.

Police responded to a report of gunfire at 432 Brintnell Boulevard just after 9 p.m. on July 23.

Const. Candace Budynski, one of the first officers on scene, told court she arrived to find bystanders performing emergency first aid on a man and a woman. The shooting happened outside a large apartment complex and attracted around two dozen onlookers, she said.

“At the time, it was just very bloody,” she testified.

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Someone later approached Budynski to say a stray bullet had struck her window.

Daniel Holly, 34, died on July 27, 2016, four days after being shot outside an apartment building in northeast Edmonton. Dagmawi Admasu’s trial on first-degree murder charges began March 29, 2021.
Daniel Holly, 34, died on July 27, 2016, four days after being shot outside an apartment building in northeast Edmonton. Dagmawi Admasu’s trial on first-degree murder charges began March 29, 2021.

Const. Bryce Gibbon, a crime scene photographer, found the parking lot littered with spent shell casings and a pool of what appeared to be blood. Several vehicles were damaged by bullets or ricochets.

In evidence are two handguns: a .45-calibe and a .40-calibre, both with defaced serial numbers.

Admasu and another man were arrested near 130 Avenue and 86 Street hours later, after a police chase involving a gold-coloured minivan.

The two are alleged to have fired at a vehicle occupied by two police officers and a civilian in hopes of evading arrest.

The injured woman spoke to homicide investigators at Royal Alexandra Hospital before undergoing surgery.

Her name is under a publication ban — requested by the Crown and granted by Justice John Henderson — on the identities of six witnesses, who told court they feared for their safety if they testify.

Henderson noted the concerns were subjective but allowed the ban, citing the ease with which information spreads on social media.

Holly died in hospital on July 27, 2016. An autopsy determined he suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

The trial is being heard by Henderson without a jury. It is scheduled to last 18 days.

jwakefield@postmedia.com

twitter.com/jonnywakefield

Police investigate the scene of a shooting at 436 Brintnell Blvd. on Saturday, July 23, 2016, in Edmonton.
Police investigate the scene of a shooting at 436 Brintnell Blvd. on Saturday, July 23, 2016, in Edmonton. Photo by Greg Southam /Postmedia

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