Toronto, May 12, 2021 (Yes Punjab News/Agency)
A 43-year-old man has been charged with shooting dead his 19-year-old nephew and attempted murder of his wife.
Gamdur Singh Brar, who shot dead his nephew Harmanjot Singh Bhattal and seriously injured his wife Satvir Kaur Brar in Edmonton at the weekend has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.
The victim Harmanjot Singh Bhattal came to Canada in December 2018 on a study visa from Bhattal village of Barnala district in Punjab.
The only son of his parents, Bhattal was studying at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and was staying with his maternal aunt.
The accused reportedly had a fight with his wife. He consequently opened fire at the vehicle in which his wife was traveling with Bhattal. After injuring Bhattal and Satvir, Gamdur fled from the spot.
The incident took place in Sherwood Park area of Edmonton just after 6.30 a.m. on Friday.
Soon after, officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reached. Bhattal succumbed to gunshot wounds before paramedics could reach the spot. The woman was rushed to the hospital where she remains critical. The accused wanted to kill her, but his 19-year-old nephew became the victim.
The police had later arrested the accused and was presented before the court where he was denied bail. The next hearing of the case is scheduled on June 12.
Meanwhile, a ‘gofundme’ campaign has been launched to raise money to send the body of Bhattal to India.
His father Avtar Singh told the media in India, the incident took place during a domestic quarrel between Harmanjot’s maternal aunt and her husband. “When Harmanjot intervened, his uncle Gamdoor Singh opened fire killing him on the spot, while his aunt Satvir Kaur was rushed to a hospital. Gamdoor has been arrested,” Avtar Singh said.
Social media posts grieving the victim say Bhattal came to Canada a year and a half ago as an international student and he died in a family dispute. His Facebook page lists him as a student at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).
Gamdur Brar’s social media profile states he is the manager and owner of Park Place Funeral Home in Sherwood Park. The accused’s Facebook page suggests the couple have two sons.
According to EdmontonJournal.com a 2020 decision from the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board shows Satvir and Gamdur Brar owned a registered numbered funeral services company that operated Park Place Funeral Home in Sherwood Park; the pair were recently fined and had their license suspended for 17 months over Funeral Act violations, including improperly issuing contracts and operating without a proper license.
Police said they responded to a firearms complaint on a rural property around 9:46 p.m. on May 8. When officers arrived they found a dead woman and a severely injured man.
The major crimes unit has taken over the case. The early investigation has shown the shooting is an isolated case and there is no threat to public safety. RCMP confirmed Tuesday both people involved lived at the same residence and they are not looking for any suspects.
Recent data from the Edmonton Police Service shows the amount of domestic violence in the area has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 34 percent increase in incidents. Domestic homicides rose in the capital to four in 2020, up from two.
From 2008 to 2019, there were 204 deaths in Alberta due to domestic and family violence, according to the province’s Family Violence Death Review Committee.