Calgary, Alberta – We continue to investigate a fatal shooting that occurred outside the Junction Underground nightclub on the weekend and are asking for the public’s help to identify a suspect.
Officers were called to the nightclub, located at 628 8 Ave. S.W., around 2:40 a.m., on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, for reports that someone had been shot outside. The victim was taken to hospital but died as a result of his injuries and a second man who had also been shot drove himself to the hospital.
Investigators believe that the victim left the nightclub with a female friend around 2:30 a.m., when two men who were loitering outside started making unwanted sexual advances on and physical contact with his friend. It is believed that the victim intervened and an altercation occurred that ended with the suspect drawing a firearm and shooting the victim, as well as accidentally shooting the acquaintance who was loitering outside the club with the suspect.
The shooter fled the scene on foot by heading eastbound along 8 Avenue S.W. The second man fled the scene in a black Mercedes sedan with BC licence plates, which he then drove to the hospital. The second man has been uncooperative with the investigation.
On Tuesday, Oct. 12, the autopsy was completed and the victim was formally identified as 31-year-old John Mitchell Smith Jr. He was a Calgarian who had moved here a few years ago from Washington state in the United States to play college basketball.
“John was a victim of a random crime,” said Staff Sergeant Martin Schiavetta with the Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit. “He was a man that volunteered countless hours coaching basketball and serving with organizations that make our city a better place. Helping his friend cost him his life and we will do everything we can to bring his killer to justice.”
Investigators collected as much evidence as possible the day of the shooting and then canvassed the area again yesterday once businesses reopened from the Thanksgiving weekend. CCTV photos of the suspect are now being released in the hope that someone will be able to help us identify him.
The suspect is described as being under six feet tall, with a visible tattoo on his neck and dark wavy hair. He was wearing a white Nike track suit top, blue jeans and white runners.
Investigators are also asking anyone with dashcam, cell phone or CCTV photos or video from the area that night to contact us, especially if either the suspect or the black Mercedes is captured.
Anyone with information on this homicide or the suspect’s identity is asked to call our non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:
APP: “P3 Tips”
Case # 21400870/3321
Calgary Police Service
Statement from John Mitchell Smith’s Family
We are providing the below statement and these photos on behalf of the family of John Mitchell Smith Jr., the victim of Calgary’s latest homicide.
John was not only a brother and son, but our best friend. He had a heart of gold, was brilliant, funny, talented, driven and authentically himself. He was truly a revolutionary embodiment of Black joy. He made everyone around him feel seen, heard and empowered to self love. He was a protector.
John excelled on and off the court. He was a mentor and trainer to youth in the States and Calgary. He was also the President of the Black & Indigenous Student Union and a budding model. He planned on returning to SAIT to finish his degree in Business Administration and play his final season of basketball.
We are devastated by his passing. A huge piece of us is gone. Our family is forever broken. He is left behind by his family and girlfriend, whom he truly loved.
Fatal downtown shooting under investigation
Our Homicide Unit is investigating a fatal shooting that occurred in the downtown core early this morning.
We were called to the Junction Underground nightclub, located at 628 8 Ave. S.W., around 2:40 a.m., on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, for reports that someone had been shot outside the business.
When officers arrived, they found a man in his 30s who was in serious medical distress. He was transported to hospital in life-threatening condition while our officers secured the scene and searched the area for suspects. The man died a short time later at the hospital.
During the search, a second man in his 30s arrived at the Foothills Medical Centre with gunshot wounds. Officers were called to the hospital and believe the man may be connected to the downtown incident. He remains in hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries.
It is very early in the investigation and we are working to determine what happened and how the two men are connected. More information will be shared once it is known and the deceased victim cannot be named until after his autopsy early next week.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact us by calling the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:
APP: “P3 Tips”
Case # 21400870/3321
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