National News

Alberta town struggles to understand rampage

By The Canadian Press

ST. PAUL, Alta. - The attention of an Alberta town shaken by a shootout and the death of a priest has now turned to a local businessman who managed a health and vitamin store.

RCMP said John Carlos Quadros, 55, of St. Paul died Friday evening during a gun battle in which three mounties were injured. It took place on the town's busiest street while residents fled for cover.

St. Paul Mayor Glenn Andersen said Quadros managed Health Mart 2000, which is located only a short distance from where the confrontation happened.

He said no one has an answer about what may have sparked Friday's rampage.

"It's a question that could be in everybody's minds forever — what was the stressor? What would provoke somebody to do something like this?" Andersen asked.

RCMP said they continued to investigate the slaying of Father Gilbert Dasna, 32, to try to determine whether his death is related to the confrontation with police.

St. Paul's downtown was bustling on Friday when the bizarre sequence of crimes began. Shops were closing, people were heading home from work and two nearby schools were hosting events.

Gunshots rang out near the town's RCMP detachment and police began hunting for a black pickup that was seen leaving the area. At about the same time police got a distress call from the rectory of a Catholic church. When they arrived, they found the priest dead.

The Diocese of St. Paul said Dasna was a native of Cameroon who had served the diocese since 2011.

Pierre Lamoureux, a spokesman for the diocese, said a church official was told that Dasna was discovered lying in the doorway of the rectory with what were believed to be gunshot wounds in his chest.

Police said the black truck later rammed a police vehicle in downtown St. Paul, pinning an officer inside. The shootout followed, and at the end, Quadros was dead.

The website for Health Mart 2000 lists John as a co-manager and says the business offers natural products, herbs, vitamins, organic foods, personal hygiene products as well as sport and bodybuilding supplements.

"At Health Mart 2000 we believe that the road to optimal health may be achieved thru a natural approach, using Herbs and Natural products given to us by GOD, as our inherent right as his adopted children; and a continued daily effort to know our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, the way to Salvation and ever Lasting Life," the website states.

Andersen said he hadn't known Quadros personally, but that he had been a businessman in St. Paul for about 15 years and that he had no reason to think there was anything unusual about him.

At one point, Andersen said Quadros had spoken to council about a requirement concerning business licences. But he said there was nothing strange about the presentation.

Andersen said Quadros was married and lived above the store.

"Our community is a safe community and I believe this is an isolated incident," Andersen said.

The RCMP officer that was in the vehicle that was rammed suffered extensive injuries to both legs and was transported to hospital in Edmonton. Police said Saturday that her injuries were not life-threatening.

The two other officers, police said, were treated and released.

Alberta's Serious Incident Response Team, a provincial unit that investigates the use of force by police, has now taken over the probe into the gunfight.

Dasna's death, meanwhile, has hit the local Catholic community hard.

Lamoureux said he had no idea why anyone would kill the priest. He said it wasn't known if Quadros was a member of the church.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

"We've lost a friend and a pastor and we're all suffering from that loss," Lamoureux said.

—By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton

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