Police are calling the Sept. 7 shooting in the Canals neighbourhood, that resulted in the death of one man, a "planned and deliberate" assault.
"The men were neighbours, and they are known to each other," said Cpl. Gina Slaney, Airdrie RCMP media relations officer. "It wasn't just a random attack."
At approximately 5 p.m., RCMP responded to the incident on Canoe Close, according to police.
"Upon police arrival, [officers] located an injured male outside of a residence," Slaney said. "And there was a neighbour providing first aid at that time, then the members took over providing first aid until EMS arrived."
The victim, 57-year-old Daniel Macdonald, later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Slaney.
The suspect, Michael Antony Roebuck, 59, was quickly arrested at the scene and charged with first degree murder, according to police. He remains in custody and will appear before Airdrie Provincial Court Sept. 19.
Slaney stressed police believe there is no further threat to the public.
"The men were known to each other and, obviously because the charge was first degree murder, than that means it was planned and deliberate," she said.
The incident marks the first homicide in Airdrie in 2019 and left many in the community shocked.
"Initially, I think a lot of people were very scared because it's not something that happens every day," Slaney said. "The people in the immediate area have been provided resources, if they feel traumatized or upset in any way. The Victim Services Unit have been out, providing assistance to them. I know, as well, Community Links, this week, is providing drop-in counselling service for anybody who's been impacted by this."
Sandra Joe, Support Service manager at Community Links, said the drop-in clinic usually runs only on Thursdays and Fridays, but Community Links extended the services to daily from Sept. 9 to 13. Counsellors will be available for a sliding-scale fee from 1 to 3 p.m. An intake is required prior to seeing a counsellor, but Joe said it doesn't take long to complete. For more information, visit nrvcl.ab.ca
"Most of us [at Community Links] are from Airdrie, and we want to support our community," she said. "We wanted there to be a safe place for people to come and to be able to talk to someone."
Joe added if the organization sees a need, the extended hours could continue into next week.
"Going through a homicide is completely different than any other grief," she said. "So, that's why we wanted to open up the clinic is to help people – sometimes, they might still be in shock and they might not even realize they need to talk to someone until next week."
An incident not only impacts those who were witness to it, according to Joe, but the community as a whole, "because if it affects us as individuals, it's going to affect us as families" and "kids are going to go to school and talking about it." She added its important for parents to discuss what happened with their children in a "trauma-informed" manner and develop safe-space where they can talk about their feelings.
"You're going to have to talk about what death means; you have to explain death, number one. And you need to keep promoting safety and security – 'We're safe now,' 'these things happen,'" Joe said, adding parents may have to repeat "you're safe" for a while. "They may need to talk about it for months. I mean, is it really something that someone's going to forget? I don't think anyone's going to forget it in their lifetime. It's a part of their story now, a part of their history."
She recommends parents research how to approach the topic before speaking with children, and said the Homicide and Grieving: A Survivors Guide from Victims of Violence and Calgary Police Service is an excellent resource.
"After a week or two, if they're having nightmares, if they are having anxiety, if sudden fears or sudden behaviours start, then you need to look at maybe bringing your child to counselling," Joe added.
Adults may also be affected by the homicide, she said, and it may take days or weeks for symptoms to start appearing.
"[If] they suddenly start to fear leaving the home or fear loud noises – because, from what I understand, it sounded like backfiring – so anytime there's a boom, you hear that, how's your body reacting?" she said. "Negative thoughts, obsessive thoughts, avoidance, having a hard time getting up, a hard time sleeping, feeling physically sick to your stomach. And it really is dependent; everyone's going to act differently."
If the symptoms last more than 30 days, Joe added, "it's time to talk to your counsellor or to contact Access Mental Health."
"I just think the most important thing is, don't suppress your feelings – you either write about it, you draw about it or you talk about it. Don't try to rush it. And if you have family and friends that are there, that's great," she said. "If not, then we're here for you."
Airdrie RCMP is asking anyone with any information in relation to this incident to contact the detachment at 403-945-7200. Those who wish to remain anonymous, can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at P3Tips.com or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.