AIRDRIE, Alta. – RCMP say investigators are open to the possibility that road rage or mistaken identity played a role in the shooting of a German tourist earlier this month west of Calgary.
Police handed out photos Thursday of the black Dodge Durango the 60-year-old man was driving with his family near Morley, Alta., on Aug. 2. They’re looking for tips or dashcam footage from anyone who saw the SUV between 11 a.m. and noon that day.
“It’s our hope that seeing these images will help to bring additional witnesses forward who can assist us with the investigation,” Cpl. Curtis Peters said.
The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre on the Stoney Nakoda Nation. Three family members who were passengers suffered minor injuries.
The man survived the shot to the head, but the German consulate says he can’t talk or move his right side as a result of the injury. He and his family have returned to Germany.
Peters said it’s believed the truck was travelling eastbound from Banff when the shooting occurred — not westbound, as previously stated.
He said the suspect vehicle, thought to be a dark-coloured older-model sedan, was also travelling eastward and was passing the Durango when a shot was fired through the passenger window.
Investigators have determined the victim drove to the Nakoda Lodge and down an unmarked gravel road known as Branch Road before the shooting.
Mistaken identity is one possibility investigators are considering.
“Without a doubt, the shot was intentionally fired. Whether or not the victim was the intended person, we don’t know at this point,” said Peters.
“We believe there was an intent to cause death or serious injury to the driver of the vehicle.”
Investigators are open to the possibility of road rage as a motive, a theory that had previously been discounted.
“We haven’t unearthed anything in the investigation that suggests there was a conflict that took place leading up to the shooting,” Peters said.
“All investigation avenues are still open, although there’s nothing to signify or point solidly in that direction.”
Peters confirmed that neither a man they previously detained, nor a Chrysler Sebring they seized, had anything to do with the shooting.
He thanked members of the Stoney Nakoda Nation for helping with the investigation.