Men killed in Winnipeg restaurant shot each other at the same time, police say

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Victims of a double homicide in downtown Winnipeg earlier this week were members of the same street gang, and shot and killed each other, police say.

Anthony Brian Cromastey, 30, and Rodney Albert Kirton, 25, died after opening fire on each other inside Johnny G’s, a popular late-night restaurant and pub on Main Street, around 1:30 a.m. CT Wednesday.

« The investigation has determined the deceased males died as a result of simultaneous gunshots to each other, » said a Winnipeg police spokesperson, Const. Rob Carver, on Friday.

Carver said both handguns have been recovered.

Investigators used surveillance video and witness accounts to conclude guns were fired at the same time, said Carver. 

« So the two individuals were basically in a gunfight in a public restaurant and shot each other fatally on the spot, » he said.

A simultaneous double homicide is « incredibly rare, » Carver said. The police spokesperson said he was unaware of one ever happening in Canada before. 

« We did a bit of research and it looks like it’s happened in the [United] States once or twice,  » he said. 

About a dozen people were in the restaurant at the time, with many running out and flagging down a police cruiser that happened to be passing nearby. 

A female server was hurt by a ricochet bullet and sent to hospital where she was treated for a non-life-threatening injury and released.

Carver said he’s surprised there weren’t more casualties because there were a lot of bullets flying.

Both men known to justice system: police

Cromastey and Kirton were members of the same street gang, but Carver wouldn’t say its name.

« I never announce the gang. I’m not going to give any gang the publicity. »

Criminal records show both men were familiar with the justice system.

Cromastey breached a bail order in 2013. At the time, he was not allowed to possess a cellphone. Kirton served time in jail twice for possessing drugs and was banned from possessing firearms. 

Immediately after the shooting Wednesday, another man at the scene assaulted Kirton, police said. An 18-year-old was charged with assault for that attack.

« Kirton was still alive when the assault took place, » Carver said, noting he and Cromastey were rushed to hospital in serious condition where they died shortly afterward.

Their deaths are the city’s fourth and fifth homicides of the year.

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3 crew members killed in CP train derailment near Field, B.C.

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Three Canadian Pacific Railway crew members were killed early Monday in a train derailment east of Field, B.C.

The westbound freight train went off the tracks at about 1 a.m. MT, CP said in a release. The fatally injured crew members were on board the train at the time. 

A union representative said the train fell more than 60 metres from a bridge near the Alberta-British Columbia boundary.

Greg Edwards with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) said the workers had just taken over the train when it happened. 

The freight train fell more than 60 metres from a bridge near the Alberta-British Columbia boundary. (CBC)

He says two of them were found near the locomotive, which landed in the Kicking Horse River, and the other was still inside.

The three victims are believed to be a locomotive engineer, a conductor, and a conductor trainee based out of Calgary.

British Columbia’s Environment Ministry confirmed between 30 and 40 grain cars went off the tracks and there was no immediate word of fuel or other contaminants entering the water. 

CP said there was no threat to public safety and there were no dangerous goods involved.

« Our condolences and prayers go out to their families, friends and colleagues, » the Calgary-based company said.

« A full investigation will take place to determine the cause of this incident. »

Previous derailment, same area

Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigators were headed to the site of the incident on Monday morning, the agency said in a release.

Eric Collard, a TSB spokesperson, said the site is remote, with access only possible by rail. « So you can’t get to it by road. »

The safety board has not yet released any further information.

« Our hearts and our deepest condolences go out to the victims’ loved ones and co-workers, » François Laporte, president of Teamsters Canada, said in a release. « Our union and its 125,000 members stand with them in mourning, »

Field is about 80 kilometres west of Banff along the Trans-Canada Highway.

The train derailed near the mountainous border with Alberta. (CBC)

Sixteen cars of a CP train derailed on Jan. 3 in the same area, which is near the Upper Spiral Tunnels, close to Cathedral Mountain, between Field and Lake Louise, Alta.

No one was hurt in that derailment.

Teamsters Canada says eight railway workers have died in accidents in Canada since November 2017.

« Today, our focus is on this accident as well as the victims’ friends and families. But moving forward, the government and the rail industry will have to recognize that something is wrong and change is needed. Eight workplace fatalities in a little over a year is not something that should be expected or accepted, » Lyndon Isaak, president of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), said in a release.

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Family of man killed in Quebec mosque shooting will be compensated by province

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Khadija Thabti says she can no longer bear to be alone outdoors.

When she hears sirens, she’s immediately brought back to the night of Jan. 29, 2017, when her husband Aboubaker and five others were killed as they prayed in the mosque in Quebec City.

She had a job at a daycare before the shooting, but since then she has had difficulty working with children.

« I’m scared all the time. I have nightmares, » she said on Sunday. « I tried to work, but I stopped. I wasn’t capable. It was very hard. »

Now, Thabti and her two children will receive financial support from the provincial organization that handles requests for compensation from victims of crimes — Indemnisation des victimes d’actes criminels (IVAC).

But before being told last week that the government will approve their claim, they had been twice denied.

Their lawyer Marc Bellemare said the fact they had to fight for two years is unacceptable.

« They will live all their lives with this weight, this trauma, » he said at a news conference in Quebec City on Sunday, announcing his client’s legal victory.

« Those delays are not acceptable in Quebec. So I hope that the minister of justice will give instructions to the public servants to accept these cases as soon as possible. »

Now that the family has been officially recognized as victims by IVAC, the three will receive compensation for all psychological treatment deemed necessary by a doctor, reimbursement for lost income since the time of the shooting and a supplemental income for life based on potential loss of earning potential.

Thabti and her son Mohamed said that being recognized as victims will make life easier as they continue to cope with the trauma of losing Aboubaker.

Mohamed Thabti says he is frustrated it took so long for IVAC to recognize that he, his sister and mother are victims of the Quebec mosque shooting. (CBC News)

They now hope that the families of other victims will be afforded the same compensation.

Bellemare said that IVAC « lies to the victims everyday, » by stating in court and on its website that you must demonstrate injury resulting directly from a criminal act.

This case, he said, proves that indirect victims of the mosque shooting must also be compensated.

« They need help, » he said. « The first responsibility of IVAC is to help people. »

Mohamed saw shooter Alexandre Bissonnette at the mosque in the days leading up to the shooting.

When they later saw footage on television of Bissonnette in handcuffs, it further traumatized him, his mother said.

« What really shocked me was when I entered the mosque, there were still traces of blood and bullet holes in the walls, » said Mohamed.

Two days before deadline

With only two days remaining before the two-year window closes for indirect victims of the shooting to apply for compensation, Bellemare is urging anyone who was at the mosque that night, or who had family at the mosque, to come forward.

He said he would help them file the necessary paperwork free of charge.

A spokesperson for Quebec Justice Minister Sonia Lebel told CBC that the minister did not personally intervene in the reversal of Thabti’s status as a victim.

However, the spokesperson added that the government is in the process of making reforms that may include modifications to the law that governs IVAC.

« Our challenge is to evaluate if these funds are used to maximize aid to victims of criminal acts, » they said in a statement.

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Charges laid after 2-year-old killed by snake venom in North Vancouver

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Charges have been laid nearly five years after a two-year-old Aleka Esa-Bella Scheyk Gonzales was poisoned and killed by snake venom in North Vancouver.

RCMP said Henry Thomas, 51, had the girl in his care on May 18, 2014 and returned her to her mother that same day.

Hours later, at 5 a.m., the child’s mother phoned RCMP and said the toddler was dead.

A statement said Mounties searched Thomas’ home in Agassiz and seized snakes and « related equipment » in July 2015.

Further biological DNA testing was run in 2016 and 2017, confirming the two-year-old’s cause of death.

Thomas, 51, was arrested at his home on Friday. He’s been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life.

« This is a very tragic incident that resulted in a complex, unique investigation by police and support agencies, » said Supt. Chris Kennedy, the officer in charge of the North Vancouver RCMP. 

« Our condolences are extended to the family and community of the deceased child. »

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Remembering the missing men allegedly killed by Bruce McArthur a year after his arrest

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Karen Fraser remembers the exact moment police told her she had to vacate her home on a calm Leaside crescent. It fixed her house as ground zero in an expansive police investigation and the focal point of a horrifying international story.

On the morning of January 18, 2018, police arrested Bruce McArthur, the man who landscaped the yard of her home on Mallory Crescent and is now charged with killing eight men with ties to Toronto’s Gay Village. At the same time, police launched a massive investigation that saw officers fan out across the GTA and sent Fraser and her partner Ron Smith from their home for 22 days.

It was just the first of the difficult days — for the victims’ families, for the LGBTQ community, for Fraser and Smith, for investigators, for the city.

In the coming weeks, police would find human remains on the property Fraser and Smith owned, and yet more remains during a summertime excavation.

As questions arose about past investigations into the disappearance of the missing men — and whether a killer could have been stopped sooner — an external review was launched to probe how police handle missing persons investigations.

“On the day when everyone’s thinking: ‘It’s been a year?’ — and then they wouldn’t quite know what to do with their reaction — we thought we need something to mark the day,” Fraser said in an interview this week.

And so, at 10:25 a.m. Friday, which is the same time Fraser was ordered out of her home and when McArthur was arrested, a lone bag piper will play a lament for the victims on her driveway.

It will be a simple, wordless acknowledgment that a year has passed — “for crimes that are beyond words, there will be no words from us,” Fraser said.

McArthur, 67, is charged with eight counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of men spanning from 2010-2017. He appeared briefly in court Wednesday, as pre-trial discussions continue between his lawyers, Crown prosecutors and Ontario Superior Court judge John McMahon.

His trial is scheduled for January 2020.

McArthur’s return to court in the week of the anniversary prompted the organization of a healing circle for anyone affected by the case to offer a space to for them to share their feelings and experiences.

Haran Vijayanathan, executive director at the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP), said the timing was not so much to mark the anniversary of McArthur’s arrest as it was to acknowledge the feelings of those affected by the case.

“When you start thinking about what happened a year ago and when you have him appearing in the same month in court, and that becomes news, it triggers people,” said Vijayanathan.

Held Wednesday evening, the event brought out a small, diverse group of people, including some who knew the victims, or McArthur, and also police officers. “It was a really nice balance,” Vijayanathan said.

“We wanted to encourage people to actively seek support and that they don’t have to sit alone with their thoughts,” he said.

McArthur is scheduled to be back in court January 29.

Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and policing. Reach her by email at wgillis@thestar.ca or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis

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Edson’s hockey community bands together to support Mounties’ son killed in crash – Edmonton

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A deadly crash in central Alberta last week that killed the six-year-old son of two RCMP officers has the hockey community in Edson pulling together support for the parents.

Cooper Dwight Pennoyer died on Friday afternoon after police said a truck he was travelling in hit the back of a snowplow that was stopped on the side of Highway 16, about 30 kilometres east of Edson. The person driving the truck was taken to hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the snowplow was not hurt.

READ MORE: 6-year-old boy dies in collision west of Edmonton, RCMP investigating

The Edson Aeros Junior A Hockey Club is now planning a pre-game tribute for Cooper ahead of their hockey game against the Cold Lake Wings this Friday night.

“We are planning a tribute to Cooper as he was a huge Aeros fan and also a player in the Edson minor hockey system,” the team’s president, Axel Axmann, said in an email to Global News. “We understand that Cooper’s mom, who is also an RCMP member, will be in attendance.”

“She was very supportive of it,” Axmann said of Sarah Pennoyer’s response to the tribute plans.

Axmann said the pre-game ceremony will include a moment of silence. Edson minor hockey players are encouraged to attend the game free of charge if they wear their Edson minor hockey team jerseys.

“As we learned from the tragedy in Humboldt, the hockey family is a small family and it’s a very tight-knit group,” Axmann said. “Cooper was a member of the Edson Minor Hockey Association here… We thought one of the best ways to honour him was to have a game in his memory… and show support to his family.

“Lots of tears, lots of grieving will happen and it’s OK, because it’s something that we need to do in order to deal with the process.”

Cooper’s obituary highlights his love for school, especially gym class, and “having new ‘harder’ things to learn.” It also says he played hockey with the Edson Sabres and was also a passionate fan of the sport, cheering for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks. Axmann said the Aeros’ assistant coach told him Cooper also enjoyed cheering on their team at games.

“Although young in years and old in soul, Cooper’s zest for life shone everyday through his infectious smile and big brown eyes that lit up when he talked about everything he loved,” his obituary reads. “When Cooper smiled it was with his whole face and you couldn’t help but smile with him.

“He shared his passion of hockey, Lego and everything outdoors with his dad, spending countless hours talking, constructing, discussing cows and quadding.”

Cooper’s obituary also mentions he had expressed a desire to follow in the footsteps of his parents, Sarah and Jason Pennoyer, and to eventually pursue a career in law enforcement.

“He was so proud when he put on his mom’s RCMP hat or his dad’s RCMP Stetson and got to play with their vests,” the obituary reads. “The detachment ladies had their ‘coop’ entertainment almost every morning and afternoon while he was waiting to go to school or home, target practice with elastics — taping them to their chairs and drawing them pictures on whatever scrap paper they had on their desks.”

In lieu of flowers, Cooper’s family has set up a trust fund for his sister Taylor to which people can donate. Axmann said he hopes people attending Friday’s game will donate to the trust fund.

“A portion of the funds will be donated in his name to Ecole Westhaven School and the Edson Minor Hockey Association.”

There will also be a celebration of Cooper’s life in Edson on Thursday.

“The RCMP members are a big part of our community and they’re very much involved with us and they do great things for us,” Axmann said. “To have this happen is tragic and it’s sad and we all feel for them and the family.

“It’s a small community and they’re such a big part of it.”

The RCMP said the cause of Friday’s crash remains under investigation.

Edson is located about 200 kilometres west of Edmonton.

–With files from Global News’ Albert Delitala

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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In 2013, 6 were killed when an Ottawa double-decker bus hit a train. Distraction was one cause

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A double-decker bus operated by Ottawa’s OC Transpo crashed into a bus shelter Friday, leaving three people dead and 23 hurt.

The incident happened just over five years after another deadly accident involving a double-decker bus, which took place in the Ottawa suburb of Barrhaven.

WATCH: 23 people injured, 3 dead following fatal Ottawa bus crash: mayor






It was 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 18, 2013 when OC Transpo bus number 8017 pulled into the Fallowfield Bus Station on express route 76.

The bus was heading to downtown Ottawa on the Transitway, a private roadway that’s been set aside for commuter buses, said a report by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).

WATCH: Sept. 24, 2014 — TSB said speed, distraction factors in Ottawa bus crash






Along the Transitway was a left-hand curve that led to Woodroffe Avenue, where the roadways ran parallel and a railway crossed them both.

At the bus’ wheel, the driver would have been faced with all the usual controls and a few additional pieces of technology — like a video monitor screen measuring six inches by four inches.

This monitor showed feeds from four different cameras on the bus: one showed the upper deck, and any OC Transpo driver was supposed to look at it at bus stops and while the vehicle was in service.

READ MORE: TSB — Multiple factors caused fatal Ottawa bus-train accident, including driver distractions

While the bus was stopped at Fallowfield, neither the driver nor his 95 passengers knew that flashing lights, bells and gates had activated along the railway some distance ahead to signal a train was coming.

The bus pulled out of the station 10 seconds after those signals were triggered — and four minutes behind schedule.

As the bus pulled out, one passenger was standing near the top of the double-decker’s stairs and would have been visible on the driver’s monitor screen.

No passenger was supposed to be standing on the top deck — and it was the driver’s job to look at the screen and remind them.

WATCH: Debris lines transitway in Ottawa after fatal bus crash






As the bus approached the left-hand curve on the Transitway, the driver would have heard passengers talking about seating that was available on the deck above them.

The driver looked up toward the monitor at this time.

Along the railway, Via Rail passenger train number 51 was about to cross Woodroffe Avenue and the Transitway en route to Toronto.

Warnings had been activated for more than 30 seconds.

READ MORE: Photos and videos from devastating Ottawa bus crash

Inside the bus, however, no one would have been able to hear the bells — and with the gates and flashing lights hidden by trees, foliage, signage and the bus’ front pillars, the driver wouldn’t have been able to see that a train was coming.

The bus was travelling at 67.6 km/h — 7.6 km/h above the speed limit.

Suddenly, passengers noticed the train and yelled out at the driver to stop and look out.

The driver then hit the brakes smoothly — as he had been trained to do — and that lengthened the bus’ stopping distance.

The bus in which six people died is towed away from the site of the fatal bus and train crash in Ottawa, Thursday, September 19, 2013. Six people died in the crash between a Via Rail train and a city bus on Wednesday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand .

The bus hit the train after its speed had slowed to 7.7 km/h.

The collision killed the driver and five passengers, hurt nine others seriously and left 25 passengers with minor injuries. No one was hurt on the train.

The double-decker might have avoided the collision had it stopped just 0.4 metres sooner.

TSB investigators blamed the crash on a number of factors, none were driver error.

“Given the circumstances, this accident could have happened to just about any driver,” TSB lead investigator Rob Johnston said in 2015, when the board’s report was released.

Visual distraction was one factor identified in the crash.

Drivers are expected to inspect the video monitor when their buses reach stops, and when they’re in service.

Drivers, the TSB determined, would need to “periodically glance at the screen” while the bus was moving in order to monitor passengers standing on the upper deck.

READ MORE: Bus in deadly Ottawa train crash was ‘over the speed limit,’ says TSB

“Research has determined that a driver’s glances away from the forward visual scene, especially glances lasting two seconds or longer, are significantly associated with accidents and near accidents,” the report said.

Cognitive distraction was another factor.

The driver had spoken with at least one more passenger about sitting on the bus’ upper deck before the vehicle left Fallowfield station, the report said.

And as the bus travelled, the driver would have heard passengers discuss seating.

WATCH: Sept. 24, 2014 — City of Ottawa responds to TSB report on fatal bus/train crash






“This combination of factors, along with the perceived need to make a no-standing-on-upper-deck announcement, created a situation where the driver was likely cognitively distracted in the seconds prior to the accident,” the report said.

The TSB recommended “comprehensive guidelines” for the use of in-vehicle video monitoring displays to lower the risk of driver distraction.

WATCH: Sept. 18, 2014 — Survivor remembers fatal Ottawa bus crash one year later






Distraction wasn’t the only factor in this crash, however.

Also blamed were the driver’s obstructed view, grade separation on the road and the bus’ “crashworthiness” — it was lacking a front bumper and its front end wasn’t designed to protect against the impact of a collision.

The Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, it turned out, had “no requirements for frontal impact, side impact, rollover, or crush protection” for buses in this category.

“Although not required by regulation, a more robust front structure and crash energy management design might have reduced the damage to the bus and prevented the loss of a protective shell for the occupants,” the report said.

  • With files from The Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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IN PHOTOS: Ottawa bus crash that killed 3 left a ‘chaotic’ scene – National

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Three people have died and at least 23 have been injured after a double-decker OC Transpo bus crashed into the Westboro transit station in Ottawa, leaving behind a “chaotic” scene.

The incident happened around 3:50 p.m. Friday afternoon during rush hour traffic. The top deck of the bus sustained the most damage, as photos show it severely caved in.

Ottawa paramedics say several people are injured — some critically — after a double-decker bus crashed at the Westboro transit station Friday afternoon.

Christopher Whan / Global News

Ottawa paramedics say several people are injured — some critically — after a double-decker bus crashed at the Westboro transit station Friday afternoon.

Christopher Whan / Global News

WATCH: Emergency crews on scene after Ottawa bus crash at transit station






Several people were trapped in the upper deck for “a period of time,” according to Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau, and the bus’ upper level received the most damage. Most of the serious injuries happened in the upper right side of the bus, which appeared to have crashed into the awning of the station.

“As you can imagine, this is a very chaotic scene,” Bordeleau said.

WATCH: Several people trapped on bus’ upper deck for period of time: police






WATCH: Debris lines transitway in Ottawa after fatal bus crash






Two killed were on the bus and one on the platform. Twenty-five people were taken to hospital from the scene, 14 in critical condition and 11 in serious condition, according to Ottawa paramedics.

The female bus driver was detained and taken to police headquarters, Bordeleau said. “Something” at the scene required officers to arrest the driver.

WATCH: Bus driver detained, set to be interviewed by police after fatal Ottawa crash






There is no word of how many people were on the platform at the time of the crash. There could have been up to 90 passengers on the bus.

Bordeleau, along with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Jeff Leiper, the Ottawa city councillor who represents the area of the crash, have commended the first responders who arrived at the scene.

WATCH: Ottawa police chief commends first responders following fatal bus






Bordeleau said that six police collision investigators are probing the cause of the crash and are being assisted by the provincial and federal ministries of transportation.

He noted that investigators will be working through the night and into Saturday morning to document the scene. “This will be a long investigation,” he said.

Police and first responders work at the scene where a double-decker city bus struck a transit shelter in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Police and a first responders work at the scene where a double-decker city bus struck a transit shelter in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Police and first responders work at the scene where a double-decker city bus struck a transit shelter in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Police and first responders work at the scene where a double-decker city bus struck a transit shelter in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Police and first responders work at the scene where a double-decker city bus struck a transit shelter in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

-With files from Beatrice Britneff

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Teen killed at home owned by Michael Wekerle remembered as ‘angel of a kid’

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Tyler Swartz is being remembered as a caring and sensitive teen who had for years devoted time to charity work.

Swartz, 18, was found dead on Dec. 27 by Caledon OPP at the home of former Dragon’s Den star and business entrepreneur, Michael Wekerle.

The day after the killing, an OPP vehicle blocked the driveway to the gated house, just outside the community of Cheltenham.
The day after the killing, an OPP vehicle blocked the driveway to the gated house, just outside the community of Cheltenham.  (Karen Martin-Robbins / Metroland)

Jonathan Weir is charged with first-degree murder in Swartz’s death. Weir, 20, will appear next in Orangeville court on Jan. 21.

There’s a court-imposed publication ban on the case.

On Dec. 28, an OPP SUV blocked the driveway to the gated house, just outside the community of Cheltenham. There was also a CTV van across the street from the property.

According to documents obtained by the Caledon Enterprise, Wekerle is listed as the owner of the 80-hectare property on King St., east of Mississauga Rd., where Caledon OPP were on the scene.

The property has been known for its yearly charity concert event, Wekfest, featuring acts such as Snoop Dogg and Sloan.

Michael Wekerle speaks to the Chamber of Commerce at the Waterloo Inn and Conference Centre in this April 2015 file photo. An 18-year-old man was found dead on Dec. 27 by Caledon OPP at Wekerle's home just outside Cheltenham. A second man, 20, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death.
Michael Wekerle speaks to the Chamber of Commerce at the Waterloo Inn and Conference Centre in this April 2015 file photo. An 18-year-old man was found dead on Dec. 27 by Caledon OPP at Wekerle’s home just outside Cheltenham. A second man, 20, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death.  (Hannah Eden photo)

Swartz attended high school at the Blyth Academy at the Thornhill campus, until 2017.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he was going to Sheridan College to become a plumber.

He was also an aquarium enthusiastic and hoped to one day open a fresh water aquarium business.

He had a part-time job at Jacob’s Deli — which coincidentally closed down over the Christmas holidays.

Since he was 8 years old, he went once a week to volunteer with his older brother with the Friendship Circle, an organization for children with special needs.

Esther Grossbaum, co-ordinator of the program, said that in 2017 Swartz received the City of Thornhill’s longest standing volunteer award for his service.

“He was a very caring individual,” Grossbaum said. “An angel of a kid.”

The Friendship Circle brings together teens with special needs youth either in home visits or at a two-hour program at the centre.

Tyler Swartz was described as "an angel of a kid."
Tyler Swartz was described as « an angel of a kid. »  (Facebook photo)

Swartz did well helping their special needs clients, said Grossbaum. For the last few years he worked with one youth in particular.

“This is a very challenging client,” explained Grossbaum. “(Swartz) did amazingly well.”

When Swartz left to go to college, the organization couldn’t find another suitable volunteer for the client.

Family and friends held a private funeral for the teen on Dec. 31 at the Steeles Memorial Chapel.

A man who answered the phone at what is believed to be Swartz’s family home said, “We don’t want to comment.”

Karen Martin-Robbins is a reporter with the Caledon Enterprise. Reach her at kmartinrobbins@metroland.com and follow her on Twitter @karenmartinrob6

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Woman killed by police led them on hours-long north Calgary car chase, police say

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A woman led police on a multi-kilometre, hours-long vehicle chase before she was shot and killed by an officer early Christmas morning, the Calgary Police Service said in an afternoon statement.

Officers noticed the driver — believed to be in her 30s — just after midnight driving dangerously in the Inglewood area, police said, but she wouldn’t stop when directed.

« The driver then drove throughout northwest Calgary, running red lights and travelling at various speeds. Two more traffic stops were attempted at approximately 12:30 a.m., but again the driver did not stop, » police said in a statement. 

« For safety reasons, the officers disengaged from following the vehicle at 12:40 a.m. »

Things escalated quickly, police say

Police received a report the driver was in the northeast community of Falconridge at around 2:20 a.m. and later saw her driving into oncoming traffic several times.

About 20 minutes later, police say, they were able to stop the vehicle on McKnight Boulevard near 68th Street N.E., where things escalated quickly and she was shot and killed by an officer with 10 years on the force.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is currently investigating the incident and an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

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