Homicide in Rosscarrock

Scanning my blog statistics today, it looks like I’ve had some visits from people seeking details of Wednesday night’s homicide in Rosscarrock.

I feel badly for not having posted about it or having any update to provide, but there just hasn’t been any time: everyone is tied up covering a three-alarm fire at a condo complex on Millrise Drive S.W.

Here’s what we know so far about the homicide: at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, police and paramedics found a fatally injured man lying on the ground beside a car that had crashed in a laneway between 42nd and 43rd Streets S.W., just south of 8th Avenue. Witnesses saw at least two males running away and getting into a waiting vehicle.

Speaking to residents of the neighbourhood this morning, some were pretty rattled because there was a homicide two years ago at a house in the 900 block of 43rd Street S.W. Kevin Bowser, a local artist, was killed by robbers looking for drugs in a botched home invasion. Two men who knew Bowser’s daughter have been charged in connection with the killing.

Before Bowser’s killing in 2008, the last homicide in Rosscarrock happened in 1998. A mentally disturbed mother, Liza Santos, strangled her infant son inside their apartment in the 4200 block of Bow Trail S.W. A judge found Santos not criminally responsible and she was eventually deported to the Philippines after she was released from confinement at Alberta Hospital.

Hopefully we’ll soon know more about Wednesday’s case, but anyone in the neighbourhood concerned about their safety should keep the Bowser and Santos cases in mind. Years of statistics show that the overwhelming majority of homicides (about two thirds) happen between people who know each other. So even if there’s a homicide on your block, it probably doesn’t mean you’re any less safe walking down the street at night.

The Herald’s “Murder Under the Microscope” series explored where, why and how homicides occurred in Calgary during a 16-year period between 1992 and 2007. I did an update story last week examining the city’s 24 homicides during 2009, and the findings were in keeping with the trends I explained above.

Having said all that, I can see how statistics would be cold comfort to anyone who wakes up and finds police tape blocking off their street….

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