‘I don’t want anybody else to go through this’: Mac’s murder victim’s widow speaks out


Summary

It’s been exactly six months since Karanpal Bhangu was shot and killed while working at a Mill Woods Mac’s convenience store.

In the middle of the night on Dec. 18, 2015, three masked men allegedly burst into the store in an armed robbery.

Police say Bhangu cooperated, but the gunmen still shot him in the stomach. The 35-year-old died soon after.

The suspects then drove to another Mac’s store in Pleasantview. That’s where Ricky Cenabrae was working alone. He too was shot and killed.

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Youth accused in Edmonton Mac’s murders makes brief court appearance

  • ‘Unnecessary, gratuitous, evil’: 2 clerks shot to death in Edmonton robberies

    Bhangu’s widow, Kiranbir Bhangu, said she has not been able to move forward since her husband’s death.

    “Karan was everything to me. He was my husband, he was my mentor, he was my guide, my everything,” she explained. “Love of my life.”

    To help her cope, she’s spearheading the Karan Project, an initiative named in her husband’s honour, to improve the safety of overnight workers.

    “The project is my way of saying thank you to the community and finding a purpose in my life.”

    After more than five years of waiting to join his wife, Karanpal had just moved to Canada with the couple’s six-year-old son, Royce, in August 2015.

    The 35-year-old had only started working at the convenience store one month before he was murdered.

    “Kiranbir and her family came to Canada for the security and safety and that was robbed from them,” said Karan Project supporter Monica Lewicki.

    “It was stolen from them. It’s heartbreaking.”

    Kiranbir believes a few changes would go a long way in protecting workers like Karanpal.

    “Night shift employees should be behind a secure barrier or a bulletproof countertop or shield,” she said.

    She also wants to see them working in pairs.

    “If somebody’s in the back room and they see there is something going on, they can jump in or they can call the police.”

    Karanpal’s cousin, Navpreet Baath, agreed. He worked overnight at a Mac’s store for two years before quitting due to safety concerns.

    “If there are two guys working, you can feel like you have someone backing you up. And if you’re behind the counter, you feel more safe. You have a little space that’s yours.”

    Kiran said on the night of the robbery, her husband activated the store’s emergency transponder – but the store owner told her that alarm company can’t see what the surveillance cameras do – that’s another company.

    “They call the police and they call the dealer,” she said. “Then police call the store, three times, a minute apart, to make sure it’s not a false alarm. I think it’s too long.”

    She’s worried those phone calls tip off the burglars that the employee has reached out for help.

    “If you push it multiple times, in a panic, a patrolling officer should arrive there (without calling first),” she explained. “No wasting time.”

    With help from her employer, the Progressive Academy, Kiranbir hosted a special brainstorming event for the Karan Project on Saturday.

    She’s hoping to hear suggestions from others on how to ensure employees make it home from their shift.

    “I feel like night shift workers are at a high risk of violence. We need to get together to make our voices heard and get decision makers to have our voices heard.”

    Labour Minister Christina Gray came to Progressive Academy to speak with Kiran. She sent this statement to media later in the day:

    “My heart goes out to Kiran and all of Karan’s family. I was overwhelmed by today’s powerful show of support from the Edmonton community for Kiran following such a tragic loss. I was also touched to meet with her and hear from the Karan Project team about the ideas they have for improving the safety of workers in Alberta’s convenience stores and gas stations. These are tragic situations that should be preventable. Families need to know that when their loved ones go to work, they will come home safe at the end of the day.”

    Gray also extended an invitation to Kiran to meet with her and her staff at the Legislature.

    “The darkness of night is so horrifying. I don’t want anybody else to go through this.”

    Global News reached out to Mac’s Convenience stores, but has not yet received a response.

    Follow @SarahNKraus


It’s been exactly six months since Karanpal Bhangu was shot and killed while working at a Mill Woods Mac’s convenience store.

In the middle of the night on Dec. 18, 2015, three masked men allegedly burst into the store in an armed robbery.

Police say Bhangu cooperated, but the gunmen still shot him in the stomach. The 35-year-old died soon after.

The suspects then drove to another Mac’s store in Pleasantview. That’s where Ricky Cenabrae was working alone. He too was shot and killed.

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Youth accused in Edmonton Mac’s murders makes brief court appearance

  • ‘Unnecessary, gratuitous, evil’: 2 clerks shot to death in Edmonton robberies

    Bhangu’s widow, Kiranbir Bhangu, said she has not been able to move forward since her husband’s death.

    “Karan was everything to me. He was my husband, he was my mentor, he was my guide, my everything,” she explained. “Love of my life.”

    To help her cope, she’s spearheading the Karan Project, an initiative named in her husband’s honour, to improve the safety of overnight workers.

    “The project is my way of saying thank you to the community and finding a purpose in my life.”

    After more than five years of waiting to join his wife, Karanpal had just moved to Canada with the couple’s six-year-old son, Royce, in August 2015.

    The 35-year-old had only started working at the convenience store one month before he was murdered.

    “Kiranbir and her family came to Canada for the security and safety and that was robbed from them,” said Karan Project supporter Monica Lewicki.

    “It was stolen from them. It’s heartbreaking.”

    Kiranbir believes a few changes would go a long way in protecting workers like Karanpal.

    “Night shift employees should be behind a secure barrier or a bulletproof countertop or shield,” she said.

    She also wants to see them working in pairs.

    “If somebody’s in the back room and they see there is something going on, they can jump in or they can call the police.”

    Karanpal’s cousin, Navpreet Baath, agreed. He worked overnight at a Mac’s store for two years before quitting due to safety concerns.

    “If there are two guys working, you can feel like you have someone backing you up. And if you’re behind the counter, you feel more safe. You have a little space that’s yours.”

    Kiran said on the night of the robbery, her husband activated the store’s emergency transponder – but the store owner told her that alarm company can’t see what the surveillance cameras do – that’s another company.

    “They call the police and they call the dealer,” she said. “Then police call the store, three times, a minute apart, to make sure it’s not a false alarm. I think it’s too long.”

    She’s worried those phone calls tip off the burglars that the employee has reached out for help.

    “If you push it multiple times, in a panic, a patrolling officer should arrive there (without calling first),” she explained. “No wasting time.”

    With help from her employer, the Progressive Academy, Kiranbir hosted a special brainstorming event for the Karan Project on Saturday.

    She’s hoping to hear suggestions from others on how to ensure employees make it home from their shift.

    “I feel like night shift workers are at a high risk of violence. We need to get together to make our voices heard and get decision makers to have our voices heard.”

    Labour Minister Christina Gray came to Progressive Academy to speak with Kiran. She sent this statement to media later in the day:

    “My heart goes out to Kiran and all of Karan’s family. I was overwhelmed by today’s powerful show of support from the Edmonton community for Kiran following such a tragic loss. I was also touched to meet with her and hear from the Karan Project team about the ideas they have for improving the safety of workers in Alberta’s convenience stores and gas stations. These are tragic situations that should be preventable. Families need to know that when their loved ones go to work, they will come home safe at the end of the day.”

    Gray also extended an invitation to Kiran to meet with her and her staff at the Legislature.

    “The darkness of night is so horrifying. I don’t want anybody else to go through this.”

    Global News reached out to Mac’s Convenience stores, but has not yet received a response.

    Follow @SarahNKraus