Alberta RCMP charge 16-year-old boy in shooting of German tourist
Alberta RCMP have arrested and charged a 16-year-old boy in connection with the shooting of a German tourist on a rural highway west of Calgary earlier this month.
The youth, a resident of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, was arrested Friday without incident, police confirmed Tuesday.
The teen has been charged with 14 criminal offences, including attempted murder, discharging a firearm with intent, and possession of a prohibited firearm.
On Aug. 2, a 60-year-old male tourist was shot in the head while driving an SUV with three other passengers inside on Highway 1A near Morley, Alta. The vehicle veered off the road and the three other passengers suffered minor injuries in the crash.
The driver, identified in court documents as Horst Stewin, survived the shooting and has since travelled home to Germany. He is unable to talk or move his right side as a result of his injuries, according to German officials.
In an update Tuesday, RCMP did not specify any possible motive.
“I continue to believe that there was no conflict leading up to the shooting, but I won’t go into any further detail regarding the motive,” said Cpl. Curtis Peters with Alberta RCMP at a press conference.
Peters added that the victim “has a very long road of recovery ahead.”
“There will be an extensive amount of physiotherapy to try and regain a quality of life. This has been a life-changing event for him,” Peters said at a press conference in Airdrie, Alta.
Peters said doctors in Germany successfully removed the bullet lodged in the man’s head and will send it back to Canada for forensic testing. He said experts will compare it to the seized firearm they believe was involved in the incident.
A vehicle believed to be involved in the shooting was also recovered, police said.
RCMP said the teenager wasn’t the sole occupant in the vehicle during the shooting, but they’re not seeking additional suspects.
Peters wouldn’t reveal any details about a possible motive, but said he still believes there was no conflict leading up to the incident.
“We believe we’ve identified the persons responsible and their individual reasons for doing so, but I’m not prepared to divulge that ahead of trial,” Peters said.
RCMP initially said that road rage may have been a factor in the shooting, but they downplayed that explanation soon after. Peters said the accused and the victim were not known to each other prior to the incident.
More than 100 people were interviewed during the investigation, according to Peters, who credited “good old fashioned police work” for the arrest.
The teenager, who cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been remanded into custody and had his first court appearance in Cochrane Provincial Court on Tuesday morning.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.