UPDATE: October 22, 2007 METRO VANCOUVER - A gas fireplace repairman of middle age (actual age unknown) but from the file photo in this story, looks to be late 50's early 60's was working on the top floor of a Surrey apartment building was a victim in the slaughter Friday of six people in a single targeted attack.
Ed Schellenberg of Abbotsford, had been called out to the Balmoral Tower at 9830 East Whalley Ring Road hours before police were notified of a possible gas leak on the top floor of the building, where bodies were discovered by firefighters a short time later. While some of the victims in the unprecedented mass killing were known to police, Schellenberg is believed to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, police sources say.
Barry Artiste's investigative efforts to date on another Ed Schellenberg who may be or may not be the same person, though this Ed Schellenbergs residence was in Langley in 1993, a scant 20 or so miles from the other Ed Schellenberg who now resided in Abbotsford.
It is quite possible this murder victim is the same Ed Schellenberg who gave expert witness testimony to RCMP on the David Millgaard (who was wrongfully convicted in a rape/murder case in Jan-31, 1969) in December 14, 1993 . This Ed Schellenberg from Langley, British Columbia, Wayne Williams, and David Millgaard all lived together at one time in Calgary, in their youth, subsisting on panhandling to coincide with their transient lifestyle.
Further media investigation will determine if this individual is one and the same, though seem to be of the same age around late 50's early 60's and based on past events, possibly the same man. Updates will follow as more investigative efforts by this Now Public Contributor develop and confirmation is established.
Below is a link on witness statements given to the RCMP regarding the Milgaard case in which an individual of the same name as Ed Schellenberg was interviewed.
http://www.milgaardinquiry.ca/Oct4_TDRCaldwell.shtml then refer to document # 045348 =Statement of Edward Schellenberg dated December 14, 1993. This is an actual statement dating his activities from 1968 when he and Milghaard first met. This statement was given to Regina RCMP officers M.E. Jorgenson and Cst. J. Dyck.
Additional Photos of todays news are posted for this story.
Updates will be forthcoming as event unfold.
UPDATE October 21-2007 This has now been confirmed to be a targeted multiple homicide in Surrey, originally thought to be a murder suicide, is now confirmed by media as a murder. What residents thought was a gas smell from a gas leak, firemen called to the scene found a grisly scene with 6 dead in various states of decomposition. The Whalley District is well known as a Criminal "Epi Centre" of drugs and prostitution.
Update Oct-21-2007 Police state the residence was once home to Wanted Drug Dealer Malakias Swales whose whereabouts are unknown. Malakias Photo is posted in this story. Vancouver Province It appears that it was home to Surrey's most wanted criminal as recently as last year. Malakias Swales, 36, has been described by Surrey Mounties as a top-end drug trafficker -- the "big-box retailer" of the local drug trade.
Swales had listed his address as an apartment in the 9800-block of East Whalley Ring Road according to a three-year lease he signed in Februray 2006 for a Chevrolet Corvette.
Yesterday, Carr said he is aware of Swales, but has no idea whether he has any connection to the mass homicide.
"We don't know who's connected at this time. We don't even know who those victims are," said Carr.
Swales has been on the lam since July 2006 after being charged with more than two dozen counts including trafficking, firearms possession, possession of property obtained through crime and evading police.
VANCOUVER -- At least six people were found slain in a Surrey highrise by firefighters Friday after initial reports of a gas leak proved to be a multiple homicide.
The RCMP was called to the 15th floor of a highrise apartment building at 9830 East Whalley Ring Road at 4:30 pm Friday.
Cpl. Dale Carr of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said at least six adults were found dead in the apartment, but he would not specify their race or gender.
Sgt. Roger Morrow of Surrey RCMP speaks to the media outside the King George Place in Surrey, the scene of at least 6 homicides Friday
"In 25 years of policing in the Lower Mainland, I don't recall another single incident where we've had this many casualties," said Carr.
He said it's too early to tell how the individuals died.
"It's hard to say whether its gang-related, some sort of attack on a group of individuals, or whether it's a murder-suicide. Certainly it's a concern to us and we understand it's a concern in the community."
Surrey RCMP Sgt. Roger Morrow described the scene as grisly.
"What it looks like is a very dramatic homicide scene," Morrow said. "What I've been told is that they've had blood about their faces."
Carr said that generally, Surrey is a safe community, but added "at this time it's difficult for us to say who's safe and not safe."
Carr said it's going to take the better part of the night and through the weekend for several homicide teams to determine what happened. As of 10 p.m. homicide investigators had been on the scene for a couple hours. "There are a hundred more apartments in the building and we have a lot of canvassing to do and a lot of work to find out who these people are," said Carr.
He wouldn't speak to the nature of the injuries, but said police have an idea how a couple of individuals died.
Fire officials and a hazardous-materials team were first to arrive on scene, treating the incident as a possible hazardous materials incident.
The incident led to sections of King George Highway, East Whalley Ring Road and Fraser Highway being closed to traffic and people urged to stay away from the area.
The King George SkyTrain station - the last stop on the Expo Line - was cordoned off and shut down, with all trains rerouted to the Surrey Central station.
TransLink spokesman Drew Snider said the King George station was closed for three hours and buses were not allowed to go through, which ended up clogging up traffic during the afternoon rush.
"Anyone who had to get out of the King George station were out of luck," he said.
The nearby Days Inn on King George Highway was locked down by police shortly after five for about three hours, said Marie Huesmann, a front desk clerk at the hotel.
"No one was allowed to come in or leave the building," she said. "No vehicles were allowed to leave. The police told us there was a gas leak and not to turn on the heating or air conditioning and no smoking. The police officers were very strict about that."
Traffic resumed and hotel customers started entering the building around 8 p.m, said Huesmann.
Sheila Rufino, who lives in the building that was locked down, said she was surprised to find police surrounding it when she returned home around 9:30 p.m.
She said there was a lineup to get in the building and police were questioning people before they allowed them to enter.
"I think they took pity on me because it was raining and I had two little ones. They asked me questions like what's your name and what unit I lived in and what time I left at," Rufino said.
Morbarak Sikder, who lives in a townhouse next to the highrise, said traffic was so backed up on 100th Avenue when he tried to come home from grocery shopping that he drove to a friend's house on 102nd Avenue and waited there for two hours.
When Sikder returned to the area about 9 p.m, TransLink officials told him he had to park his car behind the Days Inn and walk to his door.
"There's lots of police. They are letting people go in the building but they can't go out," he said.
Carr said one of the things police are trying to determine was why the incident was initially reported as a gas leak. [/q]
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