Investigation into killing of Edmonton landlord Abdullah Shah stymied by obstruction, police say

On March 13, 2022, just before 10 p.m., Abdullah Shah was fatally shot outside his southwest Edmonton home. The inner-city landlord died in hospital from multiple gunshot wounds.   (Travis McEwan/CBC - image credit)
On March 13, 2022, just before 10 p.m., Abdullah Shah was fatally shot outside his southwest Edmonton home. The inner-city landlord died in hospital from multiple gunshot wounds. (Travis McEwan/CBC - image credit)

The investigation into the killing of an Edmonton landlord, shot outside his home one year ago, has been hampered by attempts at obstruction, police allege.

Abdullah Shah, who was the subject of police scrutiny for years, was shot in front of 374 Heath Rd in southwest Edmonton on the night of March 13, 2022. He later died in hospital.

During a news conference Monday — as the Edmonton Police Service released new surveillance video from the night of the killing — detectives called for increased co-operation with their investigation.

Det. Jared Buhler of the EPS Homicide Section said investigators have been met with "varying levels of co-operation" and repeated attempts at obstruction. To date, no charges have been laid in the case.

'It's not the crime, it's the cover-up' 

"To those who have attempted to obstruct the investigation through the destruction of evidence, deceit or evasion: we are aware your actions and misinformation have been recognized, and your motivation is of significant interest to the investigation," he said.

"As has been said, it's not the crime, it's the cover-up."

Buhler urged anyone who has concealed information about the case to come forward, and said anyone offering tips to investigators will be offered his direct line and can remain anonymous.

"If you have already spoken to the investigation and have provided information which is incomplete, we understand these reasons may be complex and varied. We are prepared to work with you to resolve these issues.

"To others with information about his murder, we understand the sensitivity and risk around the information you may possess."

Shah's lawyer, Paul Moreau, said it's problematic and disheartening to hear that police are blaming a lack of co-operation by "unnamed parties" for the lack of progress on their investigation.

"It has been an entire year and the police do not seem to be any closer to locating a suspect or making an arrest than they were the day after Mr. Shah's death," Moreau said in an interview Monday.

"This is a situation where a man is shot on a public street, literally in the driveway of his own home in a suburban neighbourhood in Edmonton."

Surveillance footage 

On Monday, investigators released surveillance video of the suspect vehicle in the hope it will illicit new tips

The vehicle has now been identified as a dark grey Toyota Highlander, likely a 2015 model, police said.

The video released Monday shows the victim and suspect vehicles and their direction of travel on the night of the homicide.

The clips show both Shah's truck and the suspect vehicle travelling west on Heath Road. A separate clip shows Shah's truck pulling into his driveway, followed by the suspect vehicle seconds later.

Investigators suspect the killer was not "acting on their own behalf" and there may be multiple people responsible for the killing, Buhler said.

"After pulling into his driveway, Shah was ambushed and shot repeatedly," Buhler said at the news conference.

"This was a well-organized and targeted hit."

WATCH | Raw: Police release surveillance video from homicide case:

Investigators have said they believe the occupant or occupants of the suspect vehicle were observing Shah's home before the shooting.

Shah was then followed from Riverbend Road to Heath Road, Buhler said. The suspect vehicle has never been located by police.

Police do not have any reports of a similar vehicle being stolen or the plate information for the vehicle seen on surveillance footage.

"If someone remembers even the smallest thing ... we're interested," said Buhler. "The smallest piece of information can be critical."

Shah, also known as Carmen Pervez, was an inner-city landlord and once said he owned about 100 properties across the city.

He had a criminal record dating back to 1983, including drug and mortgage fraud convictions, and he has been the subject of numerous EPS investigations.

In August of 2021, he was shot in the head but recovered after a stay in hospital.

Buhler said Shah had a complicated relationship with police, but investigators remain determined to solve his homicide.

"Shah was a complex individual who maintained a complicated network of business and personal associations," he said.

"Mr. Shah was also a husband, a father, a brother, a son and a friend whose death was mourned by those who loved him."