OTTAWA -- Three employees of a security company were killed and a fourth critically wounded on Friday after an early morning shooting at a sprawling university residence and student services center in Edmonton, Alberta, the police and the company said.
The shooting occurred in a four-block-long building on the University of Alberta campus, which is part shopping mall and part residence for 838 students. While the Edmonton police offered little information on Friday morning beyond confirming the deaths and injury, several students told television networks that the shooting appeared to be the result of an armed robbery attempt.
The police said the gunman had not been captured.
G4S Secure Solutions, a company that provides armored-car services, confirmed that the victims were employees who had been servicing cash machines on campus. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that an armored car belonging to the company had been found abandoned in another part of Edmonton.
Based on students' accounts, it appears that the killings took place near midnight local time. The students said volunteers with a student campus security program were unable to assist the victims because they had been locked in a service room behind a cash machine. The police eventually had to break down the door but did not say whether any money had been taken.
It does not appear that any students were present while the shots were fired.
"The university is saddened by this loss of life and we extend our condolences to their loved ones," Carl Amrhein, the acting president of the university said in a statement. Students, many of whom are still taking exams, were locked into their residence rooms for several hours following the shooting and the residence and mall will be shut down for the remainder of Friday.
Although owners of cash machines have greatly expanded the use of armored-car services, armed robberies involving them are relatively infrequent in Canada. Armed robberies of any kind involving killings are similarly infrequent.world
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.