21-year-old suspect in Sherwood Park explosions identified; family issues statement

The 21-year-old suspect in Tuesday evening’s parkade explosions in Sherwood Park has been identified as Kane Kosolowsky.

RCMP said in a news release Thursday afternoon that “this was a singular event.”

An autopsy determined Kosolowsky died from a gunshot wound.

“No further suspects are being sought,” RCMP said.

Kosolowsky’s family released a statement through RCMP:

“We, the family of Kane Kosolowsky, are shocked and devastated by the unfortunate incident that took place on Nov. 6, 2018.

“We are working in cooperation with the RCMP to assist in any capacity with the investigation.

“We are thankful that there were no other persons harmed in this unexpected incident.

“The events that occurred are totally out of character for Kane and we trust that the authorities will continue a thorough investigation to provide the answers we are all seeking. At this time we ask for privacy.”

Emergency crews responded to the Strathcona County Community Centre at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to reports of a fire. On Wednesday, RCMP confirmed there were two explosions, one before police were called to the scene and another at around 8:15 p.m.

An explosion led police to a car packed with explosives and a man with severe injuries, Global News learned.

Police said the 21-year-old man was located in a car in the parkade shortly after the first blast. He was found with severe, life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital where he later died, RCMP said, adding his injuries “were not related to police interaction.”

No other injuries were reported.

RCMP are still saying very little about the investigation as schools in the area remained closed Thursday for a second day.

RCMP said Thursday the Strathcona Community Centre parkade would “remain secured by police” but roadblocks surrounding the area would be removed.

“The area outside of the parkade has been deemed safe by the Explosive Disposal Unit and RCMP Special Tactical Operations unit. Strathcona County has elected to keep the Community Hall closed to the general public at this time,” the RCMP news release said.

Security sources told Global News that the explosive material found in the car is believed to be Tannerite — an explosive used in target practice that has been found in other bombings and shootings — packed into a car that exploded. Police have not confirmed whether Tannerite was on site.

“Further investigation around the explosions inside the parkade area is anticipated to take several days,” RCMP said.

“The RCMP continues to investigate the motive for this crime and can advise there was no known threat to any schools in the surrounding areas.

“RCMP would like to thank the public for their cooperation in avoiding the area to give us space to do our work. We ask the public to refrain from speculating on the incident as we will share information as it is confirmed,” the news release said.

The mayor of Strathcona County says the first responders and county did everything right when it came to keeping the public informed.

“If I thought it was taking too long or people were dragging their heels, we would have been on it,” Mayor Rod Frank told Global News on Thursday.

“That’s not how this rolled out at all.”

Frank was at the community centre — which also houses the library and county hall — at the time of the first blast and was initially under the impression it was a fire call. He learned later Tuesday night about the explosions, information that wasn’t released to the public that night or at a news conference Wednesday morning.

It wasn’t confirmed to residents and the media until 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday — almost 21 hours after the first explosion occurred.

Frank said the release of information was being controlled by police as the investigation was ongoing. Despite speculation running rampant on social media, Frank said it would have been inappropriate to give any more information than what police did.

“We’re in the middle of a police investigation,” he said. “They’ve got to go through making sure there’s no other incidents that could happen, that takes time.

“Things have to be searched… Then you have to turn it into looking at the evidence, analyzing it, so that’s how that rolled out.

“I’d rather be criticized for getting accurate information out slowly than for compromising the investigation, number one, or, number two, for getting misinformation out and then trying to correct the misinformation is even a harder problem,” he said.

“So that’s how that worked and we stand behind it.”

Frank said the county is receiving daily briefings on this incident.

“You never think that it will happen in Sherwood Park. It’s a safe place,” said Vicky Milomas, the owner of Vicky’s Bistro inside the community centre. She was there when the building shook Tuesday evening.

“It was stronger than an earthquake.”

Her restaurant was evacuated to the patio before emergency crews told them to move further from the building.

Milomas was told she may be able to get back into the restaurant on Thursday to assess the situation.

“I’m not afraid. It doesn’t mean that because something happened one time, it’s going to happen again. It’s not going to happen again,” Milomas said.

“But I am hurt for the community, for the people, for the parents of the young man, for the family and friends and everyone else.”

Rylee Johnson is a Salisbury Composite High School student. His parents were at Festival Place Tuesday night.

“It’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not true and what to believe because we haven’t heard any definitive statements,” he said.

“It’s hard to study and keep positive thinking when there are all these rumours and speculation.

“What’s to say this won’t happen again?”

— With files from Kendra Slugoski, Global News 

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