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Update: Shooting victim expected to leave hospital soon

Victim hospitalized after Jan. 4 shooting at Lac La Biche residence

* This article has been updated to include the current condition of the victim

LAC LA BICHE - Three people are in custody and one man remains in hospital after an early morning shooting in Lac La Biche on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

Lac La Biche RCMP say that just before two that morning, they were called to a complaint about a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The 31-year-old victim was located in a residence near 99 Avenue in the Lac La Biche hamlet.

"RCMP members provided immediate first aid to the victim before being transferred to the Lac La Biche Healthcare Centre and then flown to the University of Alberta Hospital," says RCMP spokesperson Const. Chantelle Kelly.

The man was said to be in serious condition. 


Two days later, local RCMP with the assistance of the Edmonton and district general investigative sections, the Lac La Biche Crime Reduction Unit and RCMP Police Dog Services from St. Paul and Cold Lake, arrested three men in connection to the incident.

On Jan. 8, RCMP released a statement saying formal charges of attempted murder with a firearm, aggravated assault, forcible confinement and assault with a weapon had been laid against Joel Cory Desjarlais, 38, and Riel Desjarlais, 25. Both men are from the Lac La Biche area, but police couldn't say if they are directly related. 

Einar Johansen, 58, has been charged with forcible confinement, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

All three have been remanded into custody leading to their first scheduled court appearance on Jan. 11.

At the time his arrest, RCMP say that Joel Desjarlais was also wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for being unlawfully at large for breaching the conditions of his parole.

RCMP say the initial investigation shows the shooting was not random and that the victim and the suspects knew each other.

On Friday, police were saying the victim of the shooting remained in hospital, but was expected to be released within a few days.




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