UPDATE: Security Officer Now Suspect in U. of Alberta Shooting

Published: June 14, 2012

Update: Edmonton police now consider G4S employee Travis Brando Baumgartner the prime suspect in this morning’s murder and robbery, reports CBC News. He faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. Baumgartner is still at large.

EDMONTON, Alberta — Three University of Alberta campus security officers were killed in an armored-car robbery on the campus early Friday morning.

The three G4S officers died at the scene and another was taken to a hospital in critical condition, CBC News reports. The incident took place after midnight inside the university’s HUB Mall, which contains retail stores and restaurants, as well as student residences on the upper floors.

Travis Brando Baumgartner, 21, has been named as a person of interest in the case, reports the Times Colonist. He is believed to be a G4S employee.

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The bodies were discovered by volunteers who provide escorts to students on campus at night. They said they investigated after hearing a thud and finding a wounded man behind a locked door next to a bank of ATMs.

In response to questions about the university’s handling of the tragedy, the university posted the following explanation on its Web site:

“Within minutes of the first alarm, Edmonton Police and University Protective Services personnel were on site.

“Even before their arrival, Residence Services Employees ushered students in the hallway to the far opposite end of the building from where the shootings had occurred.

“Immediately on arrival, Edmonton Police took control of the crime scene and began a room to room search to determine whether there was any remaining danger to residences, and to advise students of the situation – instructing them to remain in their rooms. Once determining that there was no longer any immediate threat, the Police and University Officials activated the HUB public address system.

“By 1:15 AM, the Crisis Management Team of the University had been activated and assembly was underway.

“When time permits we will be conducting a full review of all of our communications protocols as a matter of course.

“At this time, the entire University community is focused on supporting our faculty, staff and students who need our support, and in cooperating with the Edmonton Police Service.”

Students were critical of the university’s lack of alerts about the shooting, The Globe and Mail reports. Officials said they decided against an immediate alert to prevent panic, and did not acknowledge the incident until 2:30 a.m. when a tweet was posted warning students to avoid the area.

A message was sent to all University of Alberta e-mail addresses at about 6:20 a.m., but some people claimed to not have received it.

In response to the concerns about emergency notification, the university posted the following explaination:

“We have received several questions about how the university notified members of its community about the HUB Mall incident. The university uses many methods of communicating in emergency situations. The university homepage is, and remains, the primary communication channel. Information was posted there as soon as accurate information was received from the Edmonton Police Service.

“The university does have an emergency notification system, which includes several modes of contact. Any time an incident happens, a decision is made about which methods of notification we will use.

“In this situation, one of the first notifications we received from the Edmonton Police Service included information that the suspect was no longer in the area. As a result, University of Alberta Protective Services determined that there was no immediate danger to people on campus. For this reason, the initial notification, conducted by EPS, was to door-to-door and later PA announcements within HUB Mall and website postings by the university.

“We want to reiterate that the university homepage remains the source of the most current, verified information that we have.”

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