Edmonton — Three people are dead and one is in critical condition after a botched armoured car robbery early Friday at the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton.
The employees are believed to have worked for G4S, a security firm, and were at the school around midnight when shots rang out in an area known as Hub Mall. It is a collection of restaurants and shops where students gather. There is a residence on the floors above.
University of Alberta student Ian Breitzke was on the scene shortly after the shooting and said he saw police pulling out bodies. The 21-year-old accounting student said he was watching TV in his residence room and heard a man in a room behind an ATM crying out in pain.
“When the police came in about 10 minutes, they ended up busting down the door and pulling out all the bodies that were in there and immediately pulled out two bodies that, from what I saw were dead on the scene,” Breitzke said.
“Another couple of moments after that (they) pulled the man who was still alive out of the room.”
The hunt was on for whoever carried out the attack. G4S did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Edmonton police said the school was put it lockdown after the shooting. Students living in the residence were kept in their rooms.
“It’s a crime scene so students are required to stay remain in their dorms,” said police spokesman Scott Pattison.
He would not confirm reports that the dead are two men and a woman. He did say no students were involved in the shooting.
The school offered a statement about the shooting on its website.
“The university is saddened about those who lost their lives last night and we extend our condolences to their loved ones,” the university says on its website.
“The safety and security of our students and staff is our first priority and our campus protective services are working closely with Edmonton police.”
Counsellors were being made available for students living in residence at the Hub Mall.
“If there are students directly affected by this tragic incident who feel they cannot take exams scheduled for Friday, they can defer those exams per our existing procedures.”
The university said students who live in residence at Hub Mall can leave the building but, if they do, they won’t can’t go back until 7 p.m., when the mall will reopen.
The rest of the university is operating as normal and scheduled exams are going ahead.
“We will do everything we can to help our community deal with this terrible event.”