The manhunt that led to the police shooting of Angus David Mitchell spread across British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and reached Vancouver Island. Now, the trail of clues as to who Mr. Mitchell was leads east to Alberta and all the way down to Louisiana.
Mr. Mitchell, who was shot dead by RCMP in Maple Ridge on Wednesday after police linked him to three shootings, registered as a security guard in Alberta in August, 2010, The Globe and Mail has learned. That’s not his only connection to the Prairie province. Mr. Mitchell’s sister lives in Edmonton, while other family members are scattered around Western Canada.
The RCMP have provided little information on Mr. Mitchell’s background since the fatal shootout. Mr. Mitchell, who was 26, formerly worked as a security guard both in Vancouver and Victoria. He was evicted from his Vancouver home about six months ago, at which point he began living in his green Ford Aerostar van. He worked for a Victoria security firm as recently as four or five weeks ago, and wrote an expletive-laced rant about its owner on his Facebook page.
The Mounties are still compiling a timeline on Mr. Mitchell’s whereabouts before a double homicide at a sushi restaurant on Sunday, and the shooting of his former landlord on Tuesday. The landlord survived but is in serious condition.
Patrick Mears, a spokesperson for Alberta’s Ministry of Public Safety, said Mr. Mitchell registered as a security guard nearly two years ago. “That’s pretty much all we can say,” Mr. Mears said, pointing to privacy legislation.
While he was in B.C. for at least part of 2011, and in Alberta for at least part of 2010, Mr. Mitchell’s Facebook page said he was in Denham Springs, La., in 2009, where he obtained his general equivalency diploma, or GED.
However, officials in the city of 11,000 – located about 90 minutes northwest of New Orleans – had trouble locating Mr. Mitchell in their records.
“He does not show up in any of our schools,” said John Watson, assistant superintendent with Livingston Parish Public Schools.
Mr. Watson added that his organization’s database only looks at kindergarten through Grade 12. “An adult in the parish, in our area, could enroll in adult education if they’re over 18 without ever having been in any of our schools. Possibly, he moved into the area, went to adult education, got his GED, I don’t know.”
A message left with the parish’s adult education program was not returned. But the Louisiana Community and Technical College System told Baton Rouge-based newspaper The Advocate there was no record of an Angus David Mitchell ever taking the GED test.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office said it had no record of Mr. Mitchell.
Rob Davis, chief operating officer for Burnaby-based Concord Security, said Mr. Mitchell was an employee for four months in 2008. However, Mr. Davis said he never met Mr. Mitchell and could not release further information.
A person who worked with Mr. Mitchell in one of his security gigs said interactions were often hostile. The co-worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Mr. Mitchell never got violent, only agitated or angry.
RCMP spokesman Inspector Tim Shields declined to provide any information on Mr. Mitchell’s background Thursday. He said that information would likely be released at a coroner’s inquest, a date for which has not been set.
It was Insp. Shields who issued the public alert about Mr. Mitchell on Wednesday. The police spokesman said Mr. Mitchell was armed with a high-powered rifle with scope and could be a threat to anyone. Mr. Mitchell’s van was spotted by a member of the public within an hour of the announcement.