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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Canadian Reggae party shootings.

When police arrived, they found one man dead and another injured. A third man was found hurt in a nearby field, but declined medical treatment, while yet another person called police around 4 a.m. to say he'd been shot.
reggae party in a community hall rented for a wedding erupted in violence early Sunday as gunfire killed one man and injured another three.Homicide, organized crime and gang unit investigators are trying to piece together what happened in the boisterous celebration that ended with Calgary's 27th homicide of the year.
Police were called to the Albert Park Radisson Heights Community Centre, at 1310 28th St. S.E., at 3:20 a.m. when revellers reported gunfire.
Fortunately for us, this time, there were a number of people that remained at the scene -- a fairly large number so we're going through, talking with all those people to determine what we can," said duty inspector Keith Pollock.That man was taken to hospital. No identities have been released.The hall was booked for a small wedding, but was really the stage for a reggae party by the name of Boustier & Stilletos (sic) organized by Sophie Production, according to flyers and posters printed for the event.Police said it was too early to tell if the dead man was targeted, but said they are investigating to see if there is a gang connection.They have not confirmed that the social gathering was an underground party.Residents who live near the scene said they didn't hear the gunshots, which came from inside the building, but many complained about loud music coming from the community centre.
Leo Cripps, organizer of the Calgary International Reggae Festival, said he saw the flyer promoting the event and had no idea who the promoter was or if the company exists.He said underground parties are often put on by fly-by-night promoters. Flyers are printed and news of the party spreads by word of mouth."I personally would never be caught at any of these events," said Cripps. "The people who are putting them on are just trying to make a quick buck."
Sophie Production was not listed in the phone book and does not have a website.
The flyers promoted performances by Jamaica's Mr. Lexx and Toronto's Exco Levi, with ticket prices up to $30.Cripps said promoters of underground dances, which often lack adequate security measures, are often denied access to other community halls because of past problems with property destruction or noise complaints.
It frustrates him that his festival and reggae music get a bad rap from the parties.
"Every time you find something like this happens, it sets us back. People start thinking 'reggae, drugs, guns and all of that crap,' " said Cripps.The community hall, surrounded by Bishop Kidd Catholic Junior High, houses, a day care and a small church, was behind police tape Sunday and so was the large field nearby. At capacity, the hall fits 160 people and police believe it was full early Sunday morning.Police search-and-rescue crews combed the crime scene and the surrounding neighbourhood looking for any clues that could be connected to the shooting.
Albert Park Radisson Heights Community Association acting president Peter Nugent said the booking called for a small wedding, but he now believes they were duped.
A staff member thought it was bizarre that, by 10:30 p.m., only a handful of people were around. Nugent also thought it was odd they asked him to remove most of the tables and chairs they had set up for the wedding."It's really disappointing and we feel terrible that the incident happened," said Nugent.
Pollock said police are trying to determine how many suspects may be involved and whether they crashed the party."There was possibly some kind of verbal confrontation that obviously turned violent," said Pollock


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