The death of a Hobbema man on Aug. 2 has been declared a homicide. Dale Dechamps, 21 years old was found in a back alley in the area of ‘A’ block in the Samson Townsite. The RCMP believe that he was victimized at the scene between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. on Aug. 2.
An autopsy was conducted by the medical examiner on Aug. 5 and the cause of death is currently not being released. The Ponoka News received an anonymous phone call with a message on the answering machine that stated that Dechamps was ‘stomped to death.’
At this time the RCMP have said that there is no indication that this homicide is connected to the Billy Buffalo homicide that happened on July 27. Also the RCMP said that at this time there is no information to indicate that Dechamps’ death is gang-related.
Cpl. Darrel Bruno, the Community/Youth Development Planning coordinator and media liaison with the Hobbema RCMP says that it is having an effect on the mood of the community.
“It’s definitely a tragedy. A lot of family members are affected. I’ve heard comments such as kids need to respect one another,” said Bruno. “There are some people who feel that it is a bit of a setback but there are still a lot of good community members that continue to address the gang issue and that’s the way to address this issue is the community has to work together to put the pressure on the gang members.”
He notes that like any community there are some social problems and he says that it has been brought up on a number of occasions that family values have to be constantly re-introduced.
Bruno feels that, for the most part, they have seen a reduction of gang violence and activity after the shooting of a toddler in the spring.
“A lot of the gang members have moved out of the townsite because of the suppression of gang activity through enforcement,” he said.
Hobbema RCMP are pleading for the public’s assistance on these matters. Should you have information contact Hobbema RCMP at 780-585-3767 or if you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.crimestoppers.ab.ca.