Is Calgary Becoming a Dangerous Place?

By: Griffin N.

Recently there has been violence at its worst within our beautiful city. There have been killers walking among us. From drive by shootings to the homicide of a father, then the abduction and murder of his two year old daughter; Calgary and its surrounding areas are becoming a dangerous place.

Two year old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her 27 year old father, Terry Blanchette, were just sleeping at home casually one morning in Blairmore when their house was broken into at approximately 3:30 am on 14 September 2015, and Terry was killed. Terry’s two year old daughter was abducted from the house by a man in a white van. The CBC is quoted in saying “Police said they don’t know who took her in a vehicle, which fled at high speed heading west.” Hailey is described as having light brown straight hair with bangs, and brown eyes. At 1 pm an “Amber Alert” had been issued for Hailey in hopes of finding her.

The very next day at 8:50 pm, the body of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette was found. The accused is a 22 year old man who was once a family friend to the Dunbar-Blanchettes’. Derek Sarezky has been arrested and is being held on three charges. Although Sarezky was described as attempting to get his life back together, he still made a massive emotional wound in the community that will take a long time to heal. A family friend of Sarezky mourns saying. “It’s never going to be the same in this community again.”

Unrelated to the Dunbar-Blanchette killings. On September 9, at approximately 11:15pm a woman was killed from a hail of bullets that were shot at her in a drive-by shooting while she was sitting at an intersection in northwest Calgary. Although she survived the initial damage caused by the bullets she later succumbed to her injuries and died whilst being transported to hospital. Authorities also believe that there may have been a black male in the vehicle with her at the time of the shooting, who is in need of immediate medical attention. A darker colored sedan was seen speeding away from the scene of the crime. Anyone with information involving either the injured man or the shooting is strongly urged to come forth with the information to the authorities. Although there is no evidence to indicate this is in fact a random shooting the police are not ruling it out. There is suspicion that this was in fact gang activity.

Although the number of murders and overall violence spears to have increased, this is a statistical anomaly. Calgary and surrounding areas are usually safe and well protected but the real question that stands out to me is “when will this madness stop?”

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