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Shooting death of Kelsey Ouellette linked to late boyfriend’s gang lifestyle: Edmonton police

One year after a young woman was shot and killed on a Saturday evening in a popular part of downtown Edmonton, police are releasing more information about her life and the circumstances leading up to the homicide.

Kelsey Ouellette, 31, was gunned down around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 near Jasper Avenue and 116 Street in the Oliver area.

Police responded to numerous reports of gunshots and officers performed emergency first-aid until paramedics arrived, but Ouellette died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.

“Kelsey was ambushed and shot repeatedly after leaving her residence,” said acting Staff Sgt. Jared Buhler with the EPS homicide section.

“This was a cold-blooded and targeted murder of a defenceless victim.”

Click to play video: 'Edmonton police seek information in ‘planned ambush’ that left 31-year-old woman dead'

Edmonton police seek information in ‘planned ambush’ that left 31-year-old woman dead

Just five months before her death, Ouellette’s 34-year-old boyfriend Nicolas (Nic) Chamberland died.

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Now, investigators are piecing together details about their lives, in particular the eight-month period leading up to her death.

“In June 2022, Kelsey experienced a life-changing event when her boyfriend, Nicolas, suddenly passed away,”  Buhler said.

On, Monday, June 6, 2022, Chamberland was found dead at his house in the Carlton neighbourhood of northwest Edmonton. Nicolas was also known as “Maverick” or “Mav” in some circles, Buhler said.

Kelsey Ouellette, 31, on the left and her boyfriend Nicolas (Nic) Chamberland, 34, both died in Edmonton in 2022. Supplied by Edmonton Police Service

The couple had lived together at his home in the Carlton area but separated just before he died, Buhler said.

“While Nicolas’s death may be non-criminal, the complex circumstances of his and Kelsey’s life in the months preceding and following his death are of significant interest to the investigation,” Buhler said.

Buhler would not say how Chamberland died, but stressed it wasn’t suspicious.

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“Out of respect for him and his family, I’m not going to discuss the specific medical cause of his death, other than to say it was an explainable death that occurred within the context of a much broader circumstance.”

After Ouellette died, police began re-examining her late boyfriend’s life and Buhler said investigators believe she died as a direct result of Chamberland’s involvement in crime.

“At this time, we believe Kelsey’s murder relates to significant criminal events associated to Nicolas Chamberland and/or persons in his network, which occurred within a context of high-level organized crime.”

Specifically, Buhler said Chamberland was involved in drug trafficking.

“What’s of interest to our investigation is the intersection of drugs and money, and where those two things came together and where they ultimately went to.”

It’s only in the past year it became clear to police that Chamberland’s death and gang lifestyle was a catalyst to Ouellette’s death, Buhler said.

“His associations and events that surrounded him are central to our investigation of Kelsey’s murder.”

Investigators want to talk to any of Ouellette or Chamberland’s friends or acquaintances who may have had contact with them between June and November of 2022 — even those who are actively involved in gang life.

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“Our only focus in this case is solving Kelsey’s murder. We get that it occurred in a much broader context of other criminal activity — and significant criminal activity that would be subject to high-level police investigations.

“We are not drug cops — we’re homicide investigators. We’re willing to listen to what people have to say with a homicide lens and we’re going to respect their boundaries.”

Buhler said at the very least, he encourages those who know what happened to reach out to homicide investigators for reassurance if they’re scared to come forward.

Whoever killed Ouellette went to great lengths to not be tracked down.

A white Toyota Highlander SUV believed to have been driven by the murder suspect(s) was spotted near the scene of the shooting around the time it happened.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton police release surveillance video related to homicide of 31-year-old woman'

Edmonton police release surveillance video related to homicide of 31-year-old woman

Barely an hour later at 8:45 p.m., a 2016 white Toyota Highlander was found burning on the city’s far northern rural outskirts, near 259th Avenue and 18th Street.

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“It remains our belief that these vehicles are one and the same, and that this vehicle was used by the suspect or suspects involved in Kelsey’s murder,” Buhler said.

The burned-out SUV was confirmed stolen from northwest Calgary in August 2022 and was outfitted with a licence plate that was stolen from west Edmonton in early October 2022.

The stolen licence plate number, Alberta plate CKP5569, was also the subject of a photo radar ticket on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, on Yellowhead Trail westbound at 107th Street.

Anyone with information about Ouellette’s death is asked to contact the EPS by calling 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone.

Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at

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