Navy veteran who had just moved to Calgary killed in random unprovoked attack, say police

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Edward Brett Davidson, 39, was killed on Saturday in a random, unprovoked stabbing in his condo building in Inglewood. A man he had never met has been charged with manslaughter. (Submitted by Davidson family  - image credit)
Edward Brett Davidson, 39, was killed on Saturday in a random, unprovoked stabbing in his condo building in Inglewood. A man he had never met has been charged with manslaughter. (Submitted by Davidson family - image credit)

A navy veteran who just moved to Calgary has been identified as the victim of a random, unprovoked attack in the southeast community of Inglewood on Saturday.

Edward Brett Davidson, 39, was fatally stabbed outside his condo in the 1000 block of Ninth Avenue S.E. after he was confronted by a man who police say had loose familial ties to another tenant.

The two men had never met, according to Calgary police.

Cory Carl Miklic, who also goes by the last name Szabo, has been charged with manslaughter, although the Calgary Police Service is looking at upgrading the charge.

After he was stabbed, Davidson stumbled out of the building, where he collapsed.

Good Samaritans tried to help

Staff from F45 Training, a fitness centre that occupies retail space on the ground floor, tried to save Davidson's life, along with "numerous witnesses," according to police.

Davidson died shortly after in hospital.

Dozens of officers pored over security camera footage from the neighbourhood, ultimately identifying a suspect. Miklic was arrested the same day.

The accused killer has a long criminal history with more than a dozen convictions for crimes of violence in both B.C. and Alberta.

Wanted on warrants in Vancouver

Court records show Miklic is also wanted by Vancouver police on warrants that were issued Aug. 12 when he failed to show up at court on charges of assault, assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Between 2010 and 2018, Miklic was convicted on nine counts, including assault causing bodily harm, assaulting a peace officer and assault. He was also found guilty of criminal harassment, uttering threats, breaching probation and theft under $5,000.

The stiffest sentence Miklic received was a two-year jail term in 2018 for assault and assaulting a peace officer, but all the other sentences were less than five months.

In 2021, Miklic was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm after an attack on a man who worked at St. Mary's University in southeast Calgary. The victim was pushed to the ground and repeatedly punched and kicked. Miklic was handed a seven-month sentence for that assault.

In the past four years in Calgary, Miklic was found guilty of nine assault-related charges, including three convictions for assaulting police officers. His sentences ranged from just a few days in jail to one year.

In a statement released Tuesday, CPS took the rare step of advocating for the detention of Miklic pending trial.

"This was a tragic, senseless death that did not have to happen. The suspect is known to police and we are actively advocating he remain in custody to ensure public safety," said Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta.

"To Brett's family and friends, our deepest condolences and our promise that we will do all we can to hold the accused accountable."

Victim a 'kind soul' with passion for life

Davidson's family released a statement detailing their "complete shock and despair" over the senseless killing.

"His infectious smile and big heart will be eternally missed," wrote the family. "Brett's life revolved around his close-knit family and many friends."

Davidson was born and raised on Vancouver Island but had recently moved to Calgary "in search of a new adventure," according to the family.

Submitted by Davidson family
Submitted by Davidson family

"From his youth as an athlete and coach, serving his country in the navy, Brett was a well-travelled man whose kind soul and passion for life were felt far and wide."

"His open and honest words of wisdom were sure to resonate and influence those to live life to the fullest, lead by example and always stand up for what was right.

"Brett's kind-hearted demeanour, yet competitive nature, always drew people in to get to know him. Brett's love for the outdoors fuelled his hobbies and interests, sharing this passion with his family, friends and dog. Being outdoors was his sanctuary."

Police are offering victim assistance support to any witnesses affected by the homicide. Call the Victim Assistance Support Team at 403-428-8398, or toll-free at 1-888-327-7828.

The Calgary Distress Centre also offers free crisis counselling and can be reached at 403-266-4357 or 211.