Two P.E.I. men dead, an Island woman in hospital, following Alberta shooting

Five people were shot in what RCMP are describing as a murder suicide which happened along Highway 2 north of the Alberta community of Claresholm.

Published on December 15, 2011
12152011 Alberta

Published on 15 December 2011

The scene of a multiple shooting in Alberta on Thursday. The black SUV is believed to be the vehicle the Prince Edward Island occupants were in. Two of the victims were from P.E.I.

Photos by Photo special to The Guardian by Postmedia

121511 Conway

Published on 15 December 2011

Facebook photo of Shayna Conway

Photos by

12152011 Alberta Killed

Published on 15 December 2011

Tanner Craswell, left, Mitchell MacLean, both in their 20s and both from the greater Charlottetown area were shot and killed in a horrific multiple shooting in Alberta Thursday.

Photos by Guardian illustration

Alberta murder

Published on 15 December 2011

An RCMP member uses a metal detector beside the shot up vehicle as they investigate a serious incident with multiple bodies along Highway 2 northbound just north of Claresholm, AB on December 15, 2011. Three people are dead in the shooting.

Photos by Postmedia News

12152011 Alberta

Published on 15 December 2011

Mitchell MacLean

Photos by Photo special to The Guardian

12152011 Alberta

Published on 15 December 2011

Tanner Craswell

Photos by

12152011 Alberta

Published on 15 December 2011

The scene of a multiple shooting in Alberta on Thursday. The black SUV is believed to be the vehicle the Prince Edward Island occupants were in. Two of the victims were from P.E.I.

Photos by Photo special to The Guardian by Postmedia

12152011 Alberta

Published on 15 December 2011

The scene of a multiple shooting in Alberta on Thursday. Two vehicles were involved. Two of the victims were from P.E.I.

Photos by Photo special to The Guardian by Postmedia

12152011 Alberta

Published on 15 December 2011

The scene of a multiple shooting in Alberta on Thursday. Two of the victims were from P.E.I.

Photos by Photo special to The Guardian by Postmedia

Alberta murder

Published on 15 December 2011

An RCMP member walks past the tarped vehicle as tow truck prepares to haul one of the vehicles involved in a serious incident up onto to flatbed as RCMP investigate a serious incident with multiple bodies along Highway 2 northbound just north of Claresholm, AB on Dec. 15, 2011.

Photos by Postmedia News

12152011 Alberta

Published on 15 December 2011

The scene of a multiple shooting in Alberta on Thursday. Two vehicles were involved Two of the victims were from P.E.I.

Photos by Photo special to The Guardian by Postmedia

Two Prince Edward Island men are dead and a Charlottetown woman is in hospital following a multiple shooting south of Calgary, Alberta Thursday morning.

Mitch MacLean, 20 of Cornwall, and Tanner Craswell of Charlottetown, who had just celebrated his 22 birthday on Wednesday, were shot to death just north of Claresholm, Alberta at approximately 3:30 a.m. while on the way to the Calgary airport to return home for Christmas.

See map HERE

Also shot but now recovering in hospital is Shayna Conway, formerly of the Parkdale district of Charlottetown. She is recovering at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary after being transported by ground ambulance.

Another woman from Lethbridge, Alberta, was also shot and killed. Her ex-boyfriend is considered to be the shooter in the case. He committed suicide following the shooting.

In all there were five people involved, two men and a woman dead at the scene, one man who later died after being airlifted by helicopter to hosptital, and Conway as the lone survivor.

MacLean had recently written on his Facebook page, seeming to suggest the two boys would be back in P.E.I. on Thursday, the very day of the shooting.

Both young men were attending a developmental baseball college, the Prairie Baseball Academy, in Lethbridge, south of Calgary.

Claresholm is located between the two.

RCMP are not releasing the names or hometowns of the victims but The Guardian confirmed their identities from friends and acquaintances of the victims as well as national news organizations.

Autopsies will officially confirm the cause of death and identities, the RCMP in Alberta told The Guardian. That information is not expected until later today or tomorrow.

“I don’t know why. That’s a question that everyone’s going to be asking for a long time — is why. There’s probably no answer to that one,” said Todd Hubka, who’d coached Tanner Craswell and Mitch Maclean at Prairie Baseball Academy.

Craswell and Maclean were up-and-coming baseball players and best friends.

The two were heading to the Calgary International Airport to catch an early morning flight home for Christmas.

Teammates of the young men gathered at the baseball academy as the heartbreaking news sunk in.

“It’s devastating,” said Hubka. “I love them both. I’ll miss them. They were good kids, good teammates.”

The men graduated from the baseball program last year.

Craswell, who helped coach at the academy, was upgrading some college courses and planned to continue his university education next year.

Maclean was upgrading courses to attend Louisiana State University Shreveport.

They left Lethbridge at about 1 a.m. to catch their early morning flight, said Hubka.

The Calgary Herald, a Postmedia News company, reports that Claresholm RCMP were called to a northbound lane of Highway 2 for reports of gunshots early Thursday.

They found two vehicles and the bodies of two men and a woman. A third man was airlifted to hospital, where he later died.

RCMP said the shooter was a man who died by suicide. All remaining deaths are murder, said police so there are no other suspects in the case.

Police first towed away a green Pontiac Sunfire from the scene. A black SUV with two broken windows on the driver's side and a broken rear window was later removed.

Up to 15 investigators, including members of identification and major crimes sections, were working the scene.

Claresholm Mayor David Moore said the town of 3,700 residents is stunned by what happened.

"We don't have anything like this happen in Claresholm," the mayor told Postmedia News. "It's a pretty huge event for a town our size."

(With files from Jason van Rassel, Clara Ho and Jamie Komarnicki of the Calgary Herald and Bill McGuire of The Guardian)