There’s compelling evidence now that shooting victim Aaron Bendle didn’t die simply because he had the misfortune of being in the company of FOB Killers member Sanjeev Mann inside the Bolsa Restaurant on New Year’s Day.
In an exclusive story in today’s Calgary Herald, I detail how police investigating the triple homicide discovered that rival gang members abducted and threatened Bendle as a way of getting at Mann.
Mann, 22, was a veteran gang member who survived a drive-by shooting in 2007 and regularly wore body armour under his clothes while out in public.
Bendle, on the other hand, was a suburban kid who sold small amounts of cocaine in his neighbourhood that he bought from Mann. He was far from a hardened criminal and had no gang loyalties, so sources say the killers considered him vulnerable to coercion. They forced Bendle to arrange the fateful lunch with Mann by threatening to harm his family if he didn’t.
It was initially thought that Bendle, 22, may been killed by bullets intended for Mann when gunmen opened fire inside the southeast Calgary eatery. Now, it appears he was just as much a target as Mann — a witness and unwilling co-conspirator who needed to be eliminated.
Of course, three people died in the carnage that day. The gunmen beat and shot bystander Keni Su’a, 43, as he tried to leave the restaurant.
So far, police have arrested three men in connection with the shooting: Real Christian Honorio, 25, Michael Joseph Roberto, 25, and Nathan Lawrence Zuccherato, 22, have each been charged with three counts of first-degree murder. They are accused of being the gunmen at the restaurant.
Investigators announced earlier this week they’re seeking a fourth man, Nicholas Rodrigo Hovanesian, 24. Sources say Hovanesian — and others — were allegedly involved in helping plan and carry out the crime in other ways.