Alberta murder suspect apprehended at border crossing
Published Friday, June 15, 2012 8:56AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 20, 2012 10:25AM EDT
A man wanted for an armoured car robbery and triple murder in Edmonton was caught at a U.S. border crossing, police said late Saturday.
Edmonton Police said Travis Baumgartner was apprehended by U.S. border officials Saturday evening at the Lynden, Washington border crossing, south of Abbotsford, B.C.
Edmonton Police Supt. Bob Hassel said Baumgartner was arrested driving the blue Ford F-150 truck that investigators had told the public to watch out for.
“We’re hearing the vehicle still had his mother’s licence plate (CAA 636) on it,” Hassel said in a statement.
“We’re grateful to the border officials at Lynden, Washington, for their excellent work in arresting a man we believe was armed and extremely dangerous.”
Edmonton Police said they will further update reporters on the case on Sunday at 1 p.m. local time.
Baumgartner was wanted on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder following a robbery at the University of Alberta Friday.
Police allege the 21-year-old was part of a crew of five guards with the security company G4S who were re-loading an ATM machine at the Edmonton campus early Friday morning, when the robbery took place. Four of the guards were shot and three died. The fourth remains in critical condition.
Police later found an armoured car close to the G4S depot that had been left running and had its lights on.
Earlier Saturday, Edmonton Police said they believed Baumgartner had made off with a significant amount of money.
"What I can let you know is that there was money in the armoured car," Hassel told reporters. "We know that he has a significant amount of money, but I am not prepared to release that right now."
Hassel had appealed to Baumgartner's friends to come forward if they spoke to him before or after the incident.
In a statement issued Friday, Baumgartner’s mother had begged her son to turn himself in.
"Please, Travis, I love you and I'm pleading with you with all of my heart to end this without further bloodshed," Sandy Baumgartner said in the prepared statement.
In her statement, his mother Sandy urged him to "come forward now and take responsibility for your actions," adding that she would offer him support. She also apologized for having an argument with him just before he left for his Thursday night shift.
Meanwhile, the University of Alberta building where murders took place was reopened Saturday and police identified the shooting victims.
The guards killed in the Friday morning robbery were Eddie Rejano, 39, Michelle Shegelski, 26, and Brian Ilesic, 35.
Shegelski had worked for the security company G4S for several years and was recently married. She was also training for a triathlon.
Ilesic had a 12-year-old daughter.
Rejano was a competitive target shooter and worked a second job as a gun range officer at the Wild West Shooting Centre at West Edmonton Mall.
He was striving to join the Edmonton police service.
Matthew Schuman was listed in critical condition in hospital. He is an Air Force firefighter. G4S was his second job.
A spokesperson for G4S, an international security company with more than 630,000 employees, said the company will continue to aid officers with their investigation.
“We applaud the dedication of the Edmonton Police Service, and other law enforcement agencies in apprehending Travis Baumgartner today,” Robin Steinberg said in a statement.
“Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of the victims and also with the Baumgartner family.”
The company has also launched its own investigation into the incident.
With files from The Canadian Press