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Construction company owner killed in south Edmonton shooting, friend says

A close friend has identified an Edmonton business owner as a victim of a fatal daytime shooting at a south Edmonton work site. 

Construction company owner Buta Singh Gill died Monday, former city councillor Mohinder Banga said at the scene.

In a news release sent Monday afternoon, police said officers are responding to a shooting that occurred in a residential area around noon in the Cavanagh neighbourhood, in the area of Cavanagh Blvd S.W. and 30th Avenue S.W.

Homicide investigators will be leading the investigation, police said. 

There are no immediate concerns for public safety and responding officers have secured the scene, police said.

Banga said Gill had strong ties to the Punjabi community in the city and was known for helping others.

“This guy helped everybody by going out of his own way and suffering his own losses,” Banga said. “Why would somebody hurt him?”

Banga said he knew Gill well. 

“He was such a religious and helpful person, he helped anybody he could,” Banga said.

Neighbour heard loud bangs

Abby Sieben was on her way home from a walk in the neighbourhood around noon when she heard a series of loud bangs.

She said she was walking down Cavanagh Boulevard with her two small children when the sound rang out from a construction site near her house.

Sieben said she heard at least four shots.

“I didn’t know if it was a nail gun or if it was a gun because there’s a construction site right there,” Sieben said in an interview with CBC.

“It wasn’t obvious to me until I saw the guys, the construction workers, start to run away from the site.” 

Sieben said as the workers fled, some got into their vehicles and began driving away.

One pulled over to speak with her. Sieben said the man told her to turn around and run away from the apartment complex that was under construction.

Sieben said she turned away from home and began pushing her children, ages 1 and 3, in their stroller as fast as she could.

“One of them rolled down their windows and told me that there was a shooter and that I should turn around and go the other way,” she said. 

“So I started to run and he kind of slowed down and drove his truck slowly behind me until I was around the corner,” she said.

“I was just running with my stroller and he just kind of yelled out the window like ‘I got you, Just like keep going.’ And I just ran down Cavanagh Boulevard and turned the corner.”

Sieben said the worker stayed with her until the sound of sirens could be heard. She said she eventually took the long way home, avoiding the construction site where a cluster of police vehicles had arrived on scene. 

She said she later spoke to police who knocked on her door. She also said she had a chance to speak with the workers who helped her get to safety.

Sieben said she moved to the area a year ago and feels unsettled about the violence that unfolded steps from her home.

Several police vehicles remained at the scene Monday afternoon, surrounding a two-storey multi-unit building under construction. By mid-afternoon, a large crowd of people had begun to gather at the scene.

About 50 people stood along the side of the road as police gathered evidence.

“I mean, obviously you can see all the people here, they’re all well-wishers and they just, the community is in shock right now,” Banga said. 

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