Calgary's 6 unsolved murders from 2022: What we know
Of the 24 homicides Calgary has recorded so far in 2022, six of them remain unsolved, leaving still-grieving family members desperate for answers.
Though the Calgary Police Service's homicide unit is working day and night to close all the outstanding cases, Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta says the amount of charges already laid is positive.
"We're currently at a 75 per cent clearance rate, which is actually extremely high for this time of year," Schiavetta said. "Usually it takes a year or two after that calendar year to get to that level."
Of the unsolved deaths, four of six are believed to be linked to organized crime and at least five of the victims were shot.
Schiavetta says shooting-related homicides, particularly those with an organized crime connection, remain the most difficult cases to solve.
"They're targeted, they're pre-planned, they involve – sometimes – electronic surveillance, physical surveillance… and the suspects are trying to disguise their identity. They're trying to rely on witness intimidation. They may be stealing vehicles to use in the crime, they're burning those vehicles afterwards to destroy any evidence. So their goal, obviously, is to defeat the police in their investigation and to get away with murder."
Schiavetta says regardless of whether the victim is involved in organized crime, the goal is always to lay charges and provide closure to the family.
"It's important that we have a dialogue with the victims' families. We try and share as much information as we can with them. Obviously, we can affect the integrity (of the) investigation as we go along, but we want to engage the families, let them know that we're doing everything we can to hold people accountable."
Thirteen of the city’s homicides this year (54 per cent) have included the use of firearms, compared to nine in 2021.
CALGARY'S SIX UNSOLVED HOMICIDES OF 2022
There are six Calgary homicide cases from 2022 where no charges have been laid, including:
Eric Riendeau - Sunalta shooting
Eric Riendeau, 36, was shot in the 1200 block of 17th Street S.W. just before 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2022. (Echovita.com obituary)Eric Riendeau, 36, was found shot in the 1200 block of 17th Street S.W. just before 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 6.
Despite life-saving efforts from officers and paramedics, he was pronounced dead on scene.
His death marked the first homicide of 2022.
At the time, police said they were searching for a small black or dark grey SUV that may have frequented the area.
One witness told CTV News they heard three "quick shots."
Ali Al Aqal – Red light killing
Ali Al Aqal, the victim of a March 21, 2022 fatal shooting on 16th Avenue N.W. (Facebook)Ali Al Aqal, 20, was killed in a targeted shooting at around 12:30 a.m. on March 21.
He was stopped at a red light at the intersection of 16th Avenue and Fourth Street N.W. when the shots were fired.
Police say Al Aqal's attacker exited a vehicle that had pulled up behind his, approached the driver's side of his truck and opened fire.
Majed Ahmed Zulfiqar – Crescent Heights homicide
Majed Ahmed Zulfiqar has been identified as the man killed in a shooting near 16th Avenue N.W. on April 1, 2022. (Submitted)Majed Ahmed Zulfiqar, 26, died after being shot several times while sitting in an SUV outside the Jerusalem Shawarma at 1608 Second St. N.W. at around 8 p.m. on April 1.
Zulfiqar and his friend had exited the eatery and headed to their vehicle, parked in the alley behind the restaurant. While they were sitting inside the SUV, police say multiple people approached and fired several rounds.
Police say the offender(s) then fled the scene in a vehicle eastbound on 16th Avenue, toward Edmonton Trail N.E.
Zulfiqar suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead by emergency responders.
Police have asked anyone with dash cam footage from either eastbound or westbound 16th Avenue, between 10th Street N.W. and Deerfoot Trail N.E, between 8 and 9 p.m. on April 1 to contact them.
Hisham Ahmed – Shot in Saddleridge
Hisham Ahmed, the victim of a fatal April 20, 2022 shooting in Saddle Ridge. (GoFundMe/Hogar Suleyman)Hisham Ahmed, 24, was found dead in the 200 block of Saddlecrest Boulevard N.E. at 10:30 p.m. on April 2022.
At the time, investigators said they were trying to locate a vehicle seen leaving the scene right after the shooting. It was described as a dark-coloured 2003 to 2006 GMC Sierra truck with aftermarket headlights and exhaust system.
A GoFundMe account created on behalf of the victim's father described Ahmed as the type of guy who would try to put a smile on everyone's face.
"We're just at a loss for words for what happened and wished this wasn't true," it reads.
Keanan Crane – Missing in mid-April
The family of Keanan Crane, 22, reported him missing on April 25, 2022. He was last seen alive in Whitehorn on April 11, 2022. (Calgary Police Service handout) Keanan Crane, 22, was reported missing in mid-April. His remains were found near Morley, Alta., on May 15.
Though his remains were found on the Stoney Nakoda Nation, Calgary police say he resided in Calgary.
Crane was last seen alive in the northeast community of Whitehorn on April 11 at approximately 10 p.m. His family reported him missing two weeks later on April 25.
His cause of death hasn't been released.
Shakiel Ahkeem Bennett – Falconridge fatality
Shakiel Bennett, 27, was shot and killed in northeast Calgary on July 4, 2022. (Supplied)Shakiel Ahkeem Bennett, 27, was killed in a targeted shooting at a home in the 0 to 100 block of Falsby Way N.E. just before 11 a.m. on July 4.
Investigators say Bennett was travelling with an unknown passenger in a Black Nissan Rogue prior to the shooting, and that the pair arrived at the residence together.
On July 8, police released a photo of the passenger, hoping the public might be able to identify him, and saying they believe he may have information that can help advance the investigation. However, on Friday, police confirmed the person has been identified and is not considered a suspect.
A GoFundMe account created to help his family pay for Bennett's funeral describes the young man as someone who loved music and had a passion for dancing.
'WE MISS HIM SO MUCH': BENNETT'S MOTHER SPEAKS OUT
Speaking to CTV News on Thursday, Bennett's mother said her life has been forever changed by her son's death.
"I got a knock at the door and two detectives came and told me about Shakiel and I just dropped on the floor," Shauna Burke said. "No mother wants to hear that and it's just very hard.
"I'm his mom and I'm not supposed to live past him."
Burke says her son had friends everywhere he went.
"Even at his funeral, I had so many people, it was only standing room, and they said so many good things about him," she said.
"The last time I saw him, he was at my house. He was moving my other son's car, and we were all just joking around having a good time. He's always with smiles and always making everybody laugh.
"We miss him so much, so very, very much."
Burke is urging anyone who knows anything to come forward and tell police, saying it's hard sitting and waiting for justice to be served.
"It would mean so much to us if it was solved. Just a peace of mind," she said.
"If anybody has any – it doesn't matter what kind of information – any information at all, please come forward and say something."
Burke said her heart goes out to the other families who, like her, are waiting for the pieces of the puzzle to come together.
"I feel so bad for all the families that are losing their children."
Anyone with information about Bennett's death, or any of the other unsolved homicides, is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, the homicide tip line at 403-428-8877 anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The Department of National Defence says Canada is working with the United States to protect sensitive information from foreign intelligence threats after a high-altitude surveillance balloon was detected.
Magic mushroom dispensaries are popping up in cities across Canada, with customers ranging from those looking for treatment for depression or PTSD to people wanting to 'micro-dose' a small amount of psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms. But while the situation is in some ways reminiscent of when cannabis retailers set up shop before marijuana was legalized in 2018, Health Canada says there are no plans to legalize or decriminalize psilocybin products.
Hundreds of customers who scan QR codes for restaurant menus across Canada are being surprised by secret menus instead, revealing the hidden costs behind the food they eat.
With the anniversary of Ukraine's invasion by Russia around the corner, CTV News sat down with a Russian warfare expert to discuss how he sees the conflict playing out and what happens next.
According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, as of Thursday morning there were extreme cold or winter storm warnings active from coast to coast, with the harshest extreme cold warnings stretching from northern Alberta all the way to Nova Scotia.
One of Saskatchewan’s oldest hockey rinks has garnered national attention for its unique features and unusual design.
A paramedic signing off for duty for the last time got choked up and teary-eyed during his final radio call to colleagues.
Quebec is changing its vaccine strategy: public health officials are now recommending booster shots only for vulnerable people who have never had COVID-19.
Would you pay $300 a year for quick access to a nurse? Dealing with demand, Ontario doctors get creative
Paid subscriptions to on-demand care are among the many strategies primary health-care providers in Ontario are adopting in order to meet increased demand for access to doctors in the past year, while also managing staffing shortages.
If EPS, sheriffs try a hard crackdown on inner-city Edmonton it could make things worse: criminologist
A former Edmonton Police Service officer believes bringing Alberta Sheriffs into downtown Edmonton is a risky plan that has the potential to backfire if not done properly.
The Operation Friendship Seniors Society (OFSS) announced Wednesday that it would be shutting down services at the McCauley Seniors drop-in facility.
A new public art installation has blossomed in a downtown Edmonton neighbourhood.
CTV News has learned that four of five RCMP officers facing charges in the death of an Indigenous man during an arrest in Prince George are still on active duty.
A man who was gunned down outside of his business in South Vancouver never got the chance to meet his daughter, a court heard as his killer was sentenced.
A nationwide billboard campaign that appears to promote grunge-chic clothing for street youth is causing confusion and igniting debate.
On the day that Shubenacadie Sam predicted six more weeks of winter, there are extreme cold warnings cautioning that the coldest air of the season is about to arrive in the Maritimes.
Police in Sackville, N.B., are investigating after seven children ingested cannabis edibles at a middle school on Wednesday.
An extreme cold warning has been issued across the region, with some saying the arctic air could break record-low temperatures in the Maritimes.
A teenager from Nanaimo is being hailed as a hero by his family after a suspect wielding a knife entered their business and the boy scared them off using a baseball bat.
Hazmat teams were called to the BC Cancer Agency building in Victoria on Thursday due to reports of a "noxious odour" in the building.
A furry mascot endemic only to Vancouver Island is predicting six more weeks of winter on Groundhog Day.
'We win or it’s free' paralegal bribed court clerk in traffic ticket fixing scheme: testimony alleges
A paralegal firm whose tagline is “we win or it’s free” bribed a Toronto traffic court clerk to change legal records to make it look like they had won, said the clerk in the first time he has testified publicly about the case.
Toronto and most of Ontario are in for a frigid bout of winter weather, according to Environment Canada.
A group of Ontario Greens have put together a counteroffer for Liberals trying to poach their leader.
After an extremely mild month of January, the province is bracing for a blast of arctic air that will move in tonight and last until Saturday. Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued extreme cold warnings that covers most of the province with wind chills expected to be between -38 and -42 across the South and -50 across Northern Quebec.
A beloved man who was a fixture on the streets of Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighbourhood died last year from a combination of street drugs in his system, including fentanyl, a coroner has ruled.
Medicago's parent company has announced that the Quebec City-based biopharmaceutical company, which developed a vaccine against COVID-19, will cease operations.
EXTREME COLD WARNING
EXTREME COLD WARNING | Temperatures to drop to -30 C the next two nights in Ottawa
Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning with Ottawa expected to see its coldest temperatures in years.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Winterlude returns to Ottawa and Gatineau
Winterlude kicks off in Ottawa and Gatineau today, as the national capital region's winter festival returns with in-person activities for the first time in three years.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | What's happening in Ottawa this weekend: Feb. 3-5
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at things to do in Ottawa, eastern Ontario and western Quebec during the first weekend of February.
Police say they’ve arrested multiple people and one person was taken to hospital following reports of an armed robbery at Conestoga Mall on Thursday.
'Time to move on': Reaction as Udo Haan found not criminally responsible for wife’s death, house explosion
A Kitchener man, who was charged with killing his wife and then blowing up their home in 2018, has been found not criminally responsible.
A blast of cold Arctic air is expected to reach southern Ontario Thursday night paired with possible heavy blowing snow, according to Environment Canada.
Aaron Benneweis, 46, has been charged by Saskatoon Police with sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor while in a position of trust or authority.
Brian Hodgkinson always knew there was benzene in natural gas — after all, he spent 40 years working with it for SaskPower, then SaskEnergy.
A report written and reviewed by Saskatoon Water is calling on the city to create a warning system, in particular for drivers, when roadways become “dangerously flooded” due to heavy rain.
An argument between two young children playing outside together escalated to violence when a parent got involved, a North Bay mom says.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. is holding a big reveal Friday morning: the winner of a $48 million Lotto 6/49 Gold Ball draw.
The past few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster for 16-year-old Ra'Jah Mohamed, a student at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School.
New documents show what led to a couple handing out cannabis-infused gummies to children in Winnipeg - and what happened in the hours directly after.
Ducks Unlimited Canada is celebrating World Wetlands Day by highlighting a success story in Niverville, Man.
A mobile home owner could potentially be out thousands of dollars after learning her home might not be insurable.
One of Saskatchewan’s oldest hockey rinks has garnered national attention for its unique features and unusual design.
The final details are being chiselled into place at the REAL District in preparation for the second annual Frost Festival taking place Feb. 3 to 12.
The Farmer and Rancher Mental Health (FARMh) Initiative has launched a mental wellness network along with a virtual toolbox full of mental health resources for the agriculture community.