EDMONTON- A local school is rallying to support the widow and son of 35-year-old Karanpal Singh Bhangu, a convenience store clerk killed in a vicious robbery in south Edmonton Friday morning.
Bhangu died in hospital after being shot in a Mill Woods Mac’s when three masked suspects burst into the store around 3:30 a.m.
Staff at Progressive Academy have started a GoFundMe page for Bhangu’s wife Kiran and their son Royce. Kiran works as a kindergarten teacher at the school while Royce attends Grade 1 at the northwest school.
“We’re hoping that this (GoFundMe page) will get out into the greater community in Edmonton and Canada to fund whatever the needs of Kiran and Royce are going to be going forward,” said David Eifert, the principal of Progressive Academy. “We know that for them they practically exhausted their resources to bring the family over to Canada and so they’re starting from scratch here.”
Eifert said Kiran has been in Canada for four years and was elated when she was able to bring Karanpal and Royce to Edmonton earlier this year.
“When I saw her the first time this summer she was beaming in a way that I’d never seen her smile before.”
“Her intent all along was to go through the process of bringing her family here to be with her so they could all begin life in Canada,” he said. “That dream was realized this past August and unfortunately cut very short today.”
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Eifert said he had never met Karanpal but in a tragic twist of irony, they would have met the night before he was killed if he didn’t have to work at the Mac’s store.
“I stood beside him at our Christmas program yesterday evening,” he said. “I was hoping to talk to him afterwards and when I had turned around at the end of the evening, they had left. Apparently he had to go to work.”
Eifert said aside from setting up the GoFundMe page, school employees are also setting up meal arrangements for Kiran and her son as they try to cope with their loss.
“She’s in shock. There are just a million different things going through her head.”
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A 41-year-old clerk was killed at another south Edmonton Mac’s just moments after Bhangu was shot. Police are not identifying that victim as they have not yet been able to notify next of kin.
Police said they have three suspects in custody: a 26-year-old man, a 24-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy.
Charges have not been laid.
-with files from Shallima Maharaj