2019-12-24

The Red Deer Walmart shooting

Central Alberta has been rocked this week from the horrific attack at the south Walmart on Friday night, and confused by the nonsense that has come out since.

Unlike that poor nurse is the burning car I have no knowledge of anything involving the case. I was drinking at The Pint downtown at the time of the shooting and only found out about it because after the hockey game one of the TVs was left on CityTV.

In the aftermath as we learn more, from the Red Deer RCMP deliberately lying about the shooting to try and discredit (accurate, it turns out) reports being shared on social media to the entirely predictable discovery that the savage killer was in fact a Red Indian, we are still left with a few "why"s, as the official "robbery goes wrong" seems odd. At least, I was...until watching Global TV interview the victim's wife.

Things are about to become more clear. Let's start with the timeline as we understand it as of today, Christmas Eve:
~6:35pm: Charles (Jim) Williams is in the Walmart apparently only buying deodorant and interacts with Chase Freed. It is unclear where the accomplice Crystal Maurice was at this time. This apparently occurred inside the Walmart. The conversation was not violent and appeared civil enough that RCMP claimed this was why they first thought Williams was targeted.
6:45pm: Williams is now outside of the Walmart now and his confrontation with Freed fires at him. Williams walks over to the car where his wife Roxine is waiting for him, and he opens the car door and vehemently tells her to stay put. This is the last she ever sees him alive.
6:47pm: Freed shoots at Williams multiple times and flees to a black SUB that Freed and Maurice have stolen together. On the drive out of the parking lot, he fires shots out the window possibly at two onlookers and possibly into the air like he's in a western.
9:17pm: Freed and Maurice drive out towards Rimbey and steal a red pickup in or near the town.
10:30pm: Both the pickup and the SUV are spotted near Sylvan Lake, and driving eastbound on Highway 11 are stopped by a spiked belt. They find the suspected murder weapon and surprise surprise it isn't legal.

In between 6:47pm and 10:30pm, Rimbey RCMP are looking for the suspect kinda not really while Red Deer RCMP are instead in full on fake news mode.

Police initially said the shooting was targeted, but later determined it was not. Calls to 911 and social media reports also indicated the shooting had occurred in the main entrance of the store and that there were multiple victims.
RCMP had initially said there was no danger to the public on Friday evening. Groves said that while the suspects were still at large at that time, RCMP were trying to cull rumors of a mass shooting.

“We wanted to let everybody know that the culprits who had committed the shooting had left the scene,” Groves said. “What we were dealing with at the scene was the result of the violence that had taken place… the accused had departed.
I'm not sure whether or not "quelling rumours" was the correct term for this. They made Williams out to be something he wasn't so that people didn't get the crazy idea that this was a "mass shooting"...even though additional shots were fired at multiple people that night. It's not even clear that at the times Williams was killed he was the first person shot at: Roxine says there was a "pop" sound before he told her to stay put, no guarantee it was directed at him. In other words, police admitted they lied about the scenario because people's social media accounting erred one way and they felt it was best to err the other.

As an armed robbery gone wrong the story doesn't make a lot of sense: Williams was buying a $4 can of Right Guard. Even evil Red Indian thieves tend to aim higher than that: after all they stole a flashy red pickup in Rimbey, not a 2008 beige sedan. Why didn't he get into a confrontation with a middle aged asian woman struggling with a 55" Smart TV, or somebody pushing a cart full of Christmas booty? If this wasn't a "targeted" shooting it certainly doesn't resemble an armed robbery.

So then I watched the widow's interview on Global...here is the victim, Jim Williams with Roxine:


Suddenly everything seems a lot more clear. Williams likely was targeted...because of his facial deformity. I suspect the scenario went something like this: Freed was there to commit robbery, likely by watching people taking stuff back to their vehicle and then following them out. Since it's the Red Deer South Power Centre he was possibly looking for somebody who would drop off bags and then proceed to Five Guys or Reitman's and leave their (locked) vehicle unattended. The weapon was likely intended (at least in the pre-planning phase) to only be brought out if required. A scuzzy Red Indian up to no good would easily draw the ire of other people, and the feel of all those unfriendly eyes who knew what kind of punk he was but just didn't know how far he would go must have put him on edge. Williams probably was the latest in a long line of such eyes, and his own physical abnormality would have been an easy target for Freed to lash out at in return. Williams at this point would have reacted: harshly or patronizingly wouldn't have been unfair replies and either could set Freed off even more. While Williams is shopping Freed's hate festers and instead of moving onto his targets he instead thinks of some good responses to Williams (who may have come up with some good material on his own). The second confrontation goes much more aggressive than the first, and Freed reaches for that hidden weapon.

Is that what actually happened? I wasn't there, I can't tell you. But you can believe the theory of the Red Deer RCMP who have already lied to the public about Freed, or start looking for more likely reasons that a jackpine savage shot a guy with a screwed-up face holding less than $10 worth of merchandise.