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The Edmonton Sun

11 May 2014

Catholic priest confirmed as one of two dead in St. Paul, Alberta tragedy

The St. Paul Doicese has confirmed that Rev. Gilbert Dasna was a victim in the events that took place in that town Friday, May 10, 2014.

Credits: PHOTO SUBMITTED Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency


EDMONTON – A Catholic priest has been confirmed as one of the victims of Friday’s tragic events in St. Paul, Alta.

RCMP will not say whether the death of Rev. Gilbert Dasna is connected to the shootout that left a male suspect dead and three RCMP officers injured.

At around 6:15 p.m on Friday, the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of St. Paul, Father Peter Tran, was told by RCMP officers on scene that Dasna, 32, had been shot in the chest and was taken to St. Theresa Hospital, just a block away from the St. Paul Cathedral.

Tran arrived at the hospital at about 7:10 p.m. at which time he was told that Dasna had died just minutes before his arrival.

“Police informed Father Tran that Dasna had been shot in the chest and had been found bleeding and been transported by emergency to the hospital and soon died of his wounds,” said Pierre Lamoureux, spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of St. Paul.

Lamoureux says that Dasna was apparently alone in the church’s rectory, the residence of the priest beside the cathedral, when the shooting occurred.

Minutes later there was a shootout in downtown St. Paul that left one male suspect dead, and three RCMP officers injured.

An immigrant from Cameroon, Africa, Dasna was ordained to the priesthood on July 11, 2009, and began serving as the associate pastor in St. Paul May 19, 2011. He served the French community in particular, as well as the Catholic community of Saddle Lake First Nation,

“He was a joyful, peaceful man,” said Lamoureux. “Everybody loved him. He had true charisma with young students. It’s very hard to describe the feeling here any more than shock, sadness, numbness.”

The exact details of the incident are still unclear as RCMP and the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team continue to investigate.


New details emerge about deceased suspect in St. Paul shootout

Global News

11 May 2014

Watch above: The Town of St. Paul is still trying to come to terms with the violence that broke out in their small community Friday evening. Shannon Greer reports.

EDMONTON – A man who managed a health foods store has been identified as the deceased suspect in a police shoot-out in St. Paul Friday evening.

RCMP say the suspect is 55-year-old John Carlos Quadros.

Quadros managed Health Mart 2000 Ltd., a family-owned and operated health food store in the town northeast of Edmonton. People in the community say he was married and a father. They describe him as a knowledgeable man who was serious and quiet.

“Last night when I found out who it was… I just could not believe that,” said Rudolph Waine, a St. Paul resident.

“He seemed to be a pretty good guy. I thought he was nice. He was quiet, he was serious. He didn’t smile that often but he was always interested in what you had to say,” Waine added of Quadros.

St. Paul’s Health Mart 2000.

St. Paul’s Health Mart 2000.

RCMP have also confirmed a St. Paul Catholic priest died in the town Friday evening, but officers say it’s still not known if the two events are linked.

The Diocese of St. Paul has identified the man as Rev. Gilbert Dasna, who was ordained to the priesthood in 2009 and has served the St. Paul Cathedral since May 2011.

“He was a very, very warm, very loving man. He had a very easy way about him,” said Pierre Lamoureux with the Diocese of St. Paul. “He was very respected by young and old. He had real affection for young people in the parish. He had a very easy way about him… and was a good faithful servant to the church and to the people of St. Paul.”

RCMP have ruled Dasna’s death a homicide.

Both Dasna and Quadros died over the supper hour Friday, after a series of violent events in downtown St. Paul.

Three Alberta Mounties were injured in the altercation, one of whom remains in hospital in Edmonton with non-life-threatening injuries.

The RCMP do not believe the homicide is a random occurrence.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has been called in to assist in the investigation.

The police tape surrounding the scene in downtown St. Paul was taken down Sunday.


Church confirms a priest died during violence that rocked an Alberta town

The Toronto Globe and Mail

An intersection at the centre of an Alberta town rocked by a terrifying shootout remained closed on Saturday, leaving residents to peer at the wreckage and wonder whether events that left a priest and a suspect dead, and three Mounties injured, were connected.

The Diocese of St. Paul confirmed that Father Gilbert Dasna, 32, who served in this small community northeast of Edmonton, was killed Friday during a violent incident that occurred at the church rectory.

Mounties have said that about the same time, gunshots rang out near the town’s RCMP detachment, and police began hunting for a black Dodge pickup that was seen leaving the area.

Police said the truck later rammed a police cruiser in downtown St. Paul, seriously injuring an officer and leaving two other Mounties with injuries from a shootout that ended with the suspect in the truck dead.

Police say would be premature to speculate on the cause of death of the suspect until an autopsy and ballistics tests are performed.

Investigators said they don’t know yet whether the priest’s death, which they consider a homicide, is related to the violent confrontation downtown.

Pierre Lamoureux, a spokesman for the diocese, said a church official was told Dasna was found lying inside the door of the rectory suffering from what were believed to be gunshot wounds to the chest.

Lamoureux said the church has no idea if the assailant is connected with the person who died during the confrontation with police, or what motive anyone may have had for killing Dasna.

“It’s very disturbing. People don’t know what happened and that is, or course, the first step toward healing and grieving and moving on in Father Dasna’s memory,” Lamoureux said.

“He was well-loved. He was a man of joy, a man of peace.”

RCMP said the incident started suddenly around the supper hour. Gunshots were heard just outside the town’s RCMP detachment and members ran out and saw a black Dodge pickup truck leaving the parking lot.

At the same time, a call came in about a male in distress at a residence a few blocks away. Mounties responded and transported an injured man to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Meanwhile, other officers looking for the black truck found it on the east side of town. It then turned around, police said, and headed back into the core. Police said the driver shot and hit a police officer in one cruiser, and then appeared to purposely ram another police vehicle.

RCMP said more officers arrived and the driver began shooting at them, and that police fired back.

They said the suspect, who they identified as John Carlos Quadros, 55, of St. Paul, died at the scene.

The incident shook police officers. Chief Supt. Randy McGinnis compared it to a “horrific movie scene.”

Police have said that the most seriously injured officer was in the RCMP vehicle that was rammed, and that she suffered extensive injuries to both legs.

On Saturday, they said she was in serious condition but that her injuries were not life-threatening.

The two other officers, police said, have been treated and released. One was hit in the hand by a bullet, police said, while the other was hit in the face by flying glass.

Alberta’s Serious Incident Response Team, a provincial unit that investigates the use of force by police, has now taken over the probe into the gunfight with police that left the suspect dead.

Mounties, meanwhile, will continue the investigation into Dasna’s death.

RCMP staff Sgt. Ron Campbell and Lynn Crawford with the provincial investigation unit both said they were conducting “parallel” investigations.

More than a block of 50th Avenue, the main street in St. Paul, was closed to traffic for much of Saturday as the investigation continued. The smashed black truck was still there in the morning, according to workers in a few businesses that were able to open because they had back doors accessible from other streets.

Customers who ventured downtown on Saturday were talking about what had happened, according to Victor Mailloux, an employee at St. Paul Foundry Ltd.

“We’re not scared. We’re a bit in the dark,” Mailloux said.

The Diocese of St. Paul said Dasna was born in Cameroon and had served in St. Paul since 2011.

It said his death occurred on the third anniversary of his arrival in Canada, which was May 9, 2011.

It said its bishop and its members of the diocese will pray for the priest’s soul, as well as for the soul of his alleged assailant.


Community of St. Paul in shock over shooting events

People mourning the death of Catholic priest Gilbert Dasna

CBC News Posted: May 11, 2014 2:56 PM MT     Last Updated: May 11, 2014 3:38 PM MT

  • A shooting in St. Paul, Alta. has left one gunman dead and three RCMP officers wounded.
  • A shooting in St. Paul, Alta. has left one gunman dead and three RCMP officers wounded. (Supplied/Mike Vanderhoek)
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The community of St. Paul, 150 kilometres north of Edmonton, is still reeling over the series of violent events that occurred on Friday as residents gathered in the town’s church to grieve over the priest who was shot dead.

Father Gilbert Dasna was killed in the rectory next to the church and a gunman was killed in a downtown shooting that injured several RCMP officers. The suspect in the shooting has been identified by RCMP as John Carlos Quadros, 55, of St. Paul.

As morning mass ended at St. Paul Cathedral on Sunday morning, many of the people walking out of the church bore sombre looks on their faces, still in disbelief over the death of the priest that was supposed to be officiating the service.

Father Dasna

Father Gilbert Dasna was killed on Friday in St. Paul. (Supplied/Facebook)

​​“I can’t imagine somebody [doing] something as tragic as this in our town,” said Cecile Lamoureux, who has lived in St. Paul her whole life. “We walk down the street and you kind of feel safe wherever you go. This is the last thing that we’d expect in our town.”

It is unknown whether the two events were related, but the RCMP say there is no evidence to suggest the killing of Dasna was a random occurrence.

Quadros owned a health store in downtown St. Paul called Health Mart 2000. The store is located just a few steps away from the St. Paul Cathedral.

Rudolph Waine, a resident of St. Paul, said he would visit the health store every few weeks. He was in disbelief when he heard that Quadros was the suspect killed in the downtown shooting.

“He was a quiet spoken fellow, not excitable,” said Waine. “He was a smart person. I thought this was very unusual behaviour for him because I’ve known him ever since he opened up the store here… I thought he was a nice fellow. Something must have happened.”

Waine said Quadros had a wife and children, and had opened the health store in 2000.

But the most shocking thing of all, said Waine, was the news of Dasna’s death.

‘We’re all quite a bit in distress and shaken up by the whole ordeal.’– Cecile Lamoureux

“He was just a good person,” he said. “He was caring, he had the community at heart, he had the people at heart. Whenever you talked to him he just took a complete interest in what you were saying. I was very, very shocked about that. We’re going to miss him terribly.”

“He was so involved in many things,” said Lamoureux of the priest. She had sat down and had lunch with Dasna on numerous occasions.

“He was awesome,” she said. “Awesome to talk to. He was a wonderful man.”

The Diocese of St. Paul said Dasna, an associate pastor of the St. Paul Cathedral parish, was alone in the rectory next to the church when he was shot in the chest. The Diocese confirmed he was shot more than once.

St. Paul shooting

Three RCMP officers were wounded in Friday’s shooting. (Supplied/Mike Vanderhoek )

Dasna died on Friday, the day that marked the third anniversary of his arrival in Canada from Africa.

“It’s a very tight knit community,” said Lamoureux. “I think everybody is really hurting an awful lot… We’re all quite a bit in distress and shaken up by the whole ordeal.”

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which is called in when the actions of a police officer result in serious injury or death, is investigating the shooting.

Three RCMP officers were taken to hospital on Friday following the downtown shooting. One was treated at a local hospital and released and two were airlifted to Edmonton. Of the two sent to Edmonton, one remains in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


Police probing whether death of priest ‘related’ to shootout in Alberta

CTV News
Published Saturday, May 10, 2014 7:09AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 10, 2014 10:07PM EDT

Josh Elliott and Fan-Yee Suen, CTVNews.ca

Police are investigating whether the death of a Catholic priest is “related to the events” that left one suspect dead and three RCMP officers injured after a gunfight broke out in St. Paul, Alta. on Friday night.

In a statement on Saturday, RCMP confirmed that the Catholic priest’s death was being treated as a homicide, and investigators were probing any possible links to a shootout that occurred on the same night.

“The RCMP continues to investigate this homicide in an effort to determine whether the victim’s death is related to the events that resulted in the injury of three RCMP members and the death of the suspect,” police said in a statement.

On Friday at around 6 p.m. local time, emergency crews responded to a distress call at a church rectory in St. Paul. They took one person to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police did not release the name of the victim, but the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton on Saturday identified him as Father Gilbert Dasna.

Dasna was a “good man and a good priest who radiated daily both joy and peace,” a statement from the archdiocese said.

At around the same time crews were responding to the distress call on Friday, police said a man in a black pickup truck rammed an RCMP vehicle in downtown St. Paul, pinning the officer inside.

“This vehicle appeared to have purposely rammed one of our marked police vehicles,” Chief Supt. Randy McGinnis told reporters. “The impact of the collision trapped one of our members inside the vehicle.”

The suspect then opened fire on two male RCMP officers in a second car, police said. The officers returned fire.

The driver of the truck died at the scene. Police would not say on Saturday whether the suspect’s fatal wound was self-inflicted or the result of RCMP gunshots.

RCMP said the female officer who was pinned in her car suffered extensive injuries to both legs. She was extracted from the marked police vehicle using the Jaws of Life and airlifted to an Edmonton hospital.

Police said on Saturday she is in serious condition but her injuries are not life-threatening.

The two RCMP officers in a second car were also injured during the gunfight. A senior male officer with 15 years on the job suffered facial injuries from shattered glass and a young male RCMP officer was shot in the hand. Both were treated and released from hospital on Friday night.

Witnesses said the scene was horrific, like something out of a movie.

“It was really surreal for a town like St. Paul,” Mike Vanderhoek, an oilfield worker, told The Canadian Press. Vanderhoek, who lives not far from the small town, said he was a few blocks from the incident when he heard what sounded like rifle shots.

“Some people were ducking behind cars to take cover,” he said.

Police said the incident began when officers heard shots outside the St. Paul RCMP office.

They went outside and saw a black pickup truck speeding eastbound toward a main street. The vehicle was then seen driving fast through town before it turned around and came back to the police station, according to witnesses. It then appeared to intentionally ram an RCMP car, police said.

Numerous weapons have been recovered from inside the vehicle, police said.

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney on Saturday released a statement saying he joins “all Canadians in wishing (the injured officers) a quick and full recovery.”

He added that the incident is “yet another reminder of the dangers faced by members of our law enforcement community who work each day to keep our country safe.”

Earlier on Friday, Alberta’s Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis also issued a statement saying that his thoughts were with those affected by the gunfight.

“On behalf of Premier Hancock and all Albertans, I extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone and their families affected by this serious incident,” he said.

Police are investigating the incident. They said the driver of the truck was not known to police, and they have no leads on a motive for the rampage.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating the RCMP officers’ actions because a civilian was killed, police said.

Police have identified the suspect as John Carlos Quadros, 55, of St. Paul.

With files from CTV Edmonton’s Julia Parrish and Amanda Anderson, CTV News’ Janet Dirks and The Canadian Press

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