The shooter took a step past him to the bedroom, where Ms. Cook and several others were sitting. Sitting across from her, Michael Itittakoose's white hoodie exploded with red. She scrambled to find the phone.
One of the attackers yelled, “Shoot the old lady, she's calling the cops.” The shooter swivelled toward Ms. Cook, and in a fraction of a second, her husband, Marvin Arnault, dove across the room and threw her to the ground.
He asked if she was hurt. No, Ms. Cook replied, she was okay. “You know I love you,” her husband said. “Look after the boys.”
“Are you hurt, Marvin?” she asked.
He said, “I think so.” Mr. Arnault, 51, died at the scene.
Percy Pascal, a friend of the family, was shot nine times and somehow survived. Cordell Keepness took three bullets, including one through the hand.
The gunman lowered his weapon and stepped toward the door. He had fired more than 20 shots. Two people were dead, three others wounded.
“That'll teach them to mess with IP,” he said.
2007-08: Backed into a corner
RCMP Major Crimes Corporal Rob Zentner arrived at the house about three hours after the shooting. He was shocked by what he found.
“There was blood staining on the floor, on the walls. You could see that it had been hysteria in the house. People obviously ran all different directions,” he says. “You could follow their footprints where they had run, and there was bullet holes in the wall and cartridge casings and bullet fragments on the ground.”
For Cpl. Zentner and the rest of the team assembled to investigate the murders, the first step was figuring out what prompted it.
They knew the gunman had mentioned the IP, Cpl. Zentner says. Mr. Pascal, who was in hospital recovering from his wounds, had a Native Syndicate tattoo on his face. It seemed clear that it was a gang shooting.
Witnesses told them that Mr. Pascal had exchanged words earlier that night with a man at a hotel bar. The man had a tattoo that said “Red 'til Dead,” an Indian Posse slogan. Fort Qu'Appelle, a mainly Native Syndicate town, was not friendly territory for the IP. There was an escalation of insults. Mr. Pascal asked the man if he knew that the IP and Native Syndicate were at war.
It looked as though there would be a fight, but Mr. Pascal and company left. A bartender told police that he overheard the man say afterward, “They don't know what's coming for them.” Surveillance footage revealed the man was Daniel Wolfe.
The RCMP now knew they were looking at an experienced criminal. Getting a conviction would be difficult.
The investigators say they decided in January, 2008, that they needed an undercover operation to extract a confession from Daniel: They arrested him and, while he sat in one police cruiser, another cruiser pulled up with an undercover officer handcuffed in the back seat. The uniformed officer in front got out, opened the trunk and made a show of displaying a seized Uzi to his colleagues.
Daniel was then brought inside and interviewed. The RCMP detective told him that Gerard Granbois, suspected of driving Daniel to the shooting scene, had already confessed what happened that night. Daniel said very little. The detective left the room.
Daniel, who was being watched on video, immediately whipped around the desk to see what was on the laptop. He opened a file headed “Granbois Re-enactment” and watched several seconds of Mr. Granbois's (genuine) video statement to police, in which he described the route they had taken the night of the murders. Daniel hurried back to his side of the desk when the detective returned.
Later, he was taken to a two-person cell, which was already occupied by the undercover officer.
“You a biker?” Daniel asked. The undercover told him he was a biker associate and that he was carrying some guns when he got pulled over. He asked what Daniel was in for.
Daniel told him that he was screwed. He had seen the evidence against him and he was going down. “They're gonna give me life,” he said. “Fuck, I'll be 60, man. That's a long fucking time.”