Edmonton Pizza Hut shooting victim faces recovery setback

The victim of a random shooting at an Edmonton Pizza Hut last month is facing a setback in his recovery.

The family of 55-year-old Rich Albert says he is suspected to have a brain infection. He was shot on the left side of his head.

The family says it’s a “major setback” during an already difficult journey.

On March 12, Alberta was helping with late night pizza deliveries at the takeout restaurant just off Groat Road, north of Westmount Mall, when a gunman opened the front door, shot him in the head and walked out.

Albert suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost one of his eyes.

Read more: Edmonton Pizza Hut shooting victim suffered a traumatic brain injury, lost his eye: Family

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Edmonton police say the gun that was used to shoot Albert was also used to kill constables Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan. The two Edmonton Police officers were responding to a family call on March 16, and were shot and killed by a 16-year-old suspect inside an apartment complex just across the road from the Pizza Hut.

Albert had progressed enough to go to a traumatic brain injury rehabilitation facility. His family said he was in good spirits in early April and was meant to be heading home a few days ago.

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While the family hoped he would be more alert and able to talk again soon, Albert started having complications, including a seizure, and had to go back to the hospital. His sister Leslie Albert says it’s been an incredibly difficult few weeks for Albert and his wife, Norma.

Read more: Edmonton police believe shocking Pizza Hut shooting in Westmount area was a random attack

“To go from a bright outlook of recovery through rehab, back to admission to a regular hospital and the uncertainty of his recovery or the quality of life we had expected him to have has taken an immense toll on both of them physically, emotionally and financially,” Leslie said.

“Any little setback and stuff like this that happens, we just panic, especially with a high-grade fever for 10 days. The emotional rollercoaster has been really, really brutal. We just try to be strong for each other.”

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Leslie says her brother will remain in hospital for an undetermined length of time and thanks people in Edmonton — and elsewhere — for their ongoing support.

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