EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - An early morning shooting left three armed guards dead and one in critical condition at a university campus in western Canada after an apparent robbery of an armored truck, police said Friday.
Police are looking for a fifth employee of the security company, Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said. The armored truck, abandoned but running, was found not far from the security company's offices.
The police chief said Travis Baumgartner, a 21-year-old employee of G4S Cash Services, is a person of interest and his involvement in the shootings is not clear. Knecht said authorities in the U.S. have been notified as well.
Police said no University of Alberta students were involved. The university was quickly put on lockdown, but that was later lifted.
G4S Cash Services spokeswoman Robin Steinberg confirmed two male employees and a female employee were among the dead. She said the guards were armed, but she did not have further details.
Steinberg said the company has never had a fatality in Canada before.
"It's horrible to lose this many," she said.
One G4S Cash Services van was found at the scene. Police found an armored truck, running but abandoned, not far from the G4S offices.
"At some point during the delivery, three of those employees were shot at a location inside the mall," the police chief said during a press conference. "A fourth employee was shot outside the mall."
Such shootings are rare in Canada, where residents are nervous about anything that might indicate they are moving closer to U.S. levels of gun violence. The oil boom town of Fort McMurray, Alberta, however, often has drug-related shootings, and Vancouver often has gang shootings. Gunfire at Toronto's most prominent mall this month left two dead and several injured. A shooting at an Edmonton club in 2006 left three dead.
Friday's shooting happened shortly after midnight in the Hub Mall area, which has student residences and shops. It's the university's summer session, so fewer students are living on campus.