Banff's 2nd fatal stabbing in a month leaves 'community in mourning'

·3 min read
The Alberta RCMP major crimes unit is investigating a stabbing outside of a bar in Banff that left one man dead shortly after midnight on Saturday, Sept. 3.  (Helen Pike/CBC - image credit)
The Alberta RCMP major crimes unit is investigating a stabbing outside of a bar in Banff that left one man dead shortly after midnight on Saturday, Sept. 3. (Helen Pike/CBC - image credit)

WARNING: This story contains an image that some may find distressing.

Since at least 1998, Banff has only seen two homicides. Those came in the last four weeks.

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, one man was killed outside of the Dancing Sasquatch nightclub on Banff Avenue.

Banff RCMP responded to a 911 call that a man had been stabbed following an altercation outside of the establishment in the 100 block of Banff Avenue around 12:09 a.m. on Sept. 3.

Upon arrival, RCMP found the 27-year-old male, from Foothills County, Alta. He was transported to hospital where he was declared dead.

Two men were taken into custody at a nearby location.

Helen Pike/CBC
Helen Pike/CBC

Police also said this incident is unrelated to the fatal altercation that happened outside the same nightclub that left a 26-year-old man dead in August and a 22-year-old man taken into custody.

Despite the recent violence, RCMP said Saturday afternoon that it believes there is no further concern for the safety of the general public.

But some residents are still shaken.

Man allegedly tried to break into nearby home before arrest

Natalie Zammit lives in Banff — just a few blocks away from where the most recent fatal altercation took place.

She said one of the men eventually arrested by police fled the scene of the altercation and tried to hide out in her apartment.

Zammit said she got out of bed, went to the door, and that's when she noticed someone trying to break in.

Submitted by Natalie Zammit
Submitted by Natalie Zammit

"They started ramming themselves against the door… We just have the one lock, so I was holding it shut and I'm calling for my partner to come, help me keep the door shut," Zammit said.

Zammit said the man came back later, but when he heard her boyfriend's voice, he left.

They called police, who spoke with Zammit outside.

"Immediately they were like, 'Don't touch your door. Like don't lean back against your door,'" Zammit said.

"And I turn around and just find my door like completely bloodied. Like hand prints, the entire like door frame, handle, everything glass … it was terrifying."

In a Facebook post, the Town of Banff said that they are setting up mental health support for anyone in town who may need it.

"We're all kind of like, 'What the heck is going on?'" said Zammit.

"You don't really just feel safe anymore … I won't be going out at night, I won't be walking my dog alone anymore. It's awful."

A 'shock' to the community

In a statement, Banff Mayor Corrie DiManno said that the community was already reeling from the earlier loss in August.

"I am feeling angry, profoundly saddened, and overwhelmed by the fatal stabbing in our town last night. On behalf of Council and of the community, I offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the young man who died," she said.

"This brutal violence is shocking to our community and we are taking this issue very seriously. We continue to be a community in mourning and are in healing from the tragic loss of a lifelong Banffite in August, so this incident will cause a resurgence of anxiety and trauma for some."

Alberta RCMP major crimes unit has taken over the investigation, with the assistance of Banff RCMP and the RCMP Forensic Identification Unit.

RCMP are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or who has information about it, to call 403-763-6600.