Edmonton homicides at 17, near double this time last year

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Edmonton’s homicide count in 2021 is near double the number of killings that had occurred by this time last year.

As of Friday, the city had recorded 17 confirmed homicides, including a man shot dead by Edmonton police in early June. At this time in 2020, there had been nine confirmed homicides.

By comparison as of May 21 this year, there had been 13 confirmed homicides while during the same period in 2020, there had been seven.

Insp. Brent Dahlseide of the Edmonton Police Services’ major crimes branch told media last month that at the current rate, the city will be on track to see 38 homicides this year — but that’s the same number of people killed in Edmonton in 2020, when there was an uptake at the end of the year.

To date, January, May and June of 2021 have been the deadliest months, with four homicides occurring in each month. Two homicides were in both March and April, while one homicide took place in February.

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City police are also investigating the suspicious death of Peter Meyer, a 64-year-old man found dead in a northeast apartment building on May 3. The homicide section has also taken the lead of the investigation into the fatal 1 p.m. hit and run of a man on May 21, near 129 Avenue and 126 Street.

Neither of the suspicious deaths have been confirmed as homicides at this point.

Sixteen men and one woman have been victims of a confirmed homicide so far this year.

Nearly half of the causes of death have been withheld by police for investigative reasons or due to the need for further testing. Three people died from stab wounds while three others died of “sharp force injuries.” Three others died of gunshot wounds, including a 33-year-old man killed in the June Edmonton police shooting.

Edmonton police do not include officer shootings in their homicide count. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is currently investigating the death.

One of the homicide victims died of blunt force trauma from a hit and run.

Fewer than half of the 17 homicides have resulted in charges so far. Three people have been charged with first-degree murder, two with second-degree murder and one with manslaughter.

The city’s most recent homicide occurred on June 8, around 7:20 p.m. when officers responded to a report of an injured male at a home near 98 Street and 108 Avenue. Travis Waskahat, 24, was transported to hospital where he died of his injuries. An autopsy completed on Thursday confirmed he died of a stab wound.

No one has been charged in his death.

Edmonton’s deadliest year for homicides was 2011, when 48 killings were recorded.

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