The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division headquarters in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division headquarters in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Man charged with first-degree murder in shooting death of store employee in Edson

Brent Dumas of Yellowhead County was arrested in a wooded area east of Edson on Saturday

Police say a 21-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of an employee at a store in west-central Alberta last month.

RCMP Insp. Rick Jané said Monday that officers responded to a report of a shooting at a business in Edson, Alta., about 200 kilometres west of Edmonton, on Nov. 4. Jané said a man went into the business with a firearm and tried to rob it.

A store employee, who Jané identified as Cordell MacLellan, 44, of Edson, was shot before another employee was assaulted.

Jané said the shooter fled the scene in a stolen vehicle that was found unoccupied nearby. The firearm was left at the scene.

MacLellan was rushed to hospital where he later died. The other employee, a 32-year-old man, was injured but did not need to go to hospital, Jané said.

Brent Dumas of Yellowhead County, Alta., was arrested in a wooded area east of Edson on Saturday and charged with first-degree murder, possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of a firearm contrary to an order and assault with a weapon.

Investigators are not disclosing the name of the business or whether it was targeted.

“We are sensitive to the fact that any time a tragedy occurs, that tragedy itself is traumatic, obviously for the people who lost loved ones, and for the employees,” Jané said.

“It also can have potentially negative impacts on the business itself, so we are not looking to compound any of those impacts.”

He said the RCMP did not release a description of the suspect at the time “as it would be so vague that it would have had little investigative value.”

Jané also said that the force fielded concerns from the public that no emergency alert was issued when the suspect fled in the wooded area in an attempt to evade arrest.

“If we were to create an environment where the offender or the suspect felt like he was being hunted and spooked, that can actually escalate the risk to the public because that person can become desperate and try to take evasive action.”

Dumas is to appear in Edson provincial court on Jan. 18.

—Daniela Germano, The Canadian Press

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