Charges laid after break-in at central Alberta gun club leads to shelter-in-place order

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A break-in at a gun club in central Alberta, which was followed by a shooting, led to area residents being told to stay in their homes and lock the doors on Friday. And now, two Calgarians are facing a lengthy list of theft, weapons and break and enter-related charges.

Residents living west of Carstairs, Alta., were told to shelter in place for about two hours Friday morning as RCMP searched for two armed suspects in the area.

In an update Monday afternoon, Didsbury RCMP said the ordeal began just after 5 a.m. Friday, when they were called to a break and enter at the Silver Willow Farm Sporting Club. The gun club is located west of Carstairs, in Mountain View County.

Police said a “property representative” from Silver Willow was notified by an on-site security camera that two suspects were at the business. The person drove to the gun club where they saw two people get into a Volkswagen hatchback car and attempt to flee the area, according to police.

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The RCMP said the VW car got stuck, and the male suspect got out of the vehicle with a long-barrelled firearm and pointed it at the property representative. The suspect then ran towards the person’s vehicle and shot at them, hitting the vehicle. The property representative was not injured.


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Residents between Township Road 302 and Highway 580, and between Range Road 15 and Range Road 20, were asked to shelter in place and lock their doors. The area is located just west of Carstairs, which is about a half-hour drive north of Calgary.

With residents holed up in their homes, officers continued to search for the suspects.

Didsbury RCMP called in assistance from the emergency response team, police dog services, as well as members of the Olds and Airdrie RCMP.

The suspects were taken into custody a short time later.

The gate to the gun club was visibly damaged, and a black hatchback was towed away from the scene on Friday.

Kyle Nechiporenko, a 37-year-old Calgary resident, has been charged with attempted murder, discharging a firearm with intent, failing to comply with a probation order, possession of a firearm without holding a licence, failing to comply with a weapons prohibition order, using a disguise to commit an indictable offence and driving while unauthorized.

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Soleil Wenas, a 20-year-old Calgary resident, has been charged with possession of a firearm without holding a licence and failing to comply with release order conditions.

Both Nechiporenko and Wenas are also charged with break and enter with intent to steal a firearm, weapon dangerous to the public peace (bear spray), using a firearm while committing an indictable offence, using an imitation firearm while committing an indictable offence, theft under $5,000, mischief under $5,000 and possessing break and enter instruments.

Nechiporenko and Wenas were taken into custody. Wenas appeared in court in Didsbury on Monday morning. Nechiporenko is scheduled to appear in Calgary court on Wednesday morning.

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