A Toronto woman gunned down in Calgary early Saturday was an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time, police say.
Natasha Mohamed Farah, 26, was killed in a shooting near 11th Ave. and 1st St. Southwest at about 3 a.m. Ms. Farah, who had just recently moved to Calgary, was pronounced dead at the scene.
“At this point, this does not appear to be a targeted attack and the victim appears to be an innocent bystander,” Sergeant Mike Cavilla told reporters on Monday.
Three people were arrested at a hotel in northwest Calgary in connection with the shooting and police were still searching for a fourth person.
The four men allegedly involved in the shooting are known to Calgary Police. One of the three men taken into custody Monday has a warrant out for his arrest on an attempted murder charge in Toronto.
“There’s no indication right now that this is gang-related,” Sgt. Cavilla said. “The homicide unit has [been] unable to establish a clear motive in this case.”
He said Ms. Farah had just exited a building and was talking to friends when she was inadvertently shot. Police believe the gun was fired from inside or near a vehicle.
“It’s a high-traffic area in a downtown entertainment district at a time when there’s a number of people exiting establishments,” Sgt. Cavilla said. “Absolutely we’re taking this very seriously and we’re very concerned.”
Police located a suspect vehicle that was spotted leaving the scene, a Calgary Police news release stated.
Mohamed Jama, the president of the Somali Canadian Society of Calgary, described Ms. Farah’s murder as “a tragedy. It’s overwhelming, very hard for the community.”
Mr. Jama said there are many prayers being said for Ms. Farah and her family. Asked whether the woman’s death had anything to do with gang violence, Mr. Jama replied: “I haven’t heard anything like that from the police.”
Ms. Farah’s murder was the 23rd homicide in Calgary this year. The shooting was the first of three in as many days in the city.
A woman in her 40s is in critical condition after an early Sunday morning shooting in the 0-100 block of Tuscany Hills Northwest. Ulises Boris Quinteros, 51, faces several charges including attempted murder.
On Monday, police investigated after two homes and a car were hit by bullets in Monterey Park. No one was hurt in that incident.