Accused after basketball coach in fatal nightclub shooting ‘falls victim to random crime’

Accused after basketball coach in fatal nightclub shooting ‘falls victim to random crime’

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Accused after basketball coach in fatal nightclub shooting ‘falls victim to random crime’

Police have released photos of a man claiming to be a suspect in a deadly weekend shootout in the Calgary downtown.

On Sunday, police were called to the Junction Underground nightclub just before 2:45 pm for a report of someone being shot outside a bar on Eighth Avenue. Police transported a man to the hospital at the time, where he died shortly after.

An autopsy identified the man as 31-year-old John Mitchell Smith Jr.

Police say he was a Calgarian who moved to Washington a few years ago to play college basketball.

When Smith left the nightclub with a woman around 2:30, the two men began making unwanted sexual advances and physical contact with the woman.

According to police, Smith intervened, and a man struck him. He also shot his accomplice, who later took him to a hiking medical center. Police say he is not cooperating with the investigation.

Police say the shooter fled east along Eighth Avenue SW

“John is a victim of random crime,” said Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta with the homicide unit of the Calgary Police Service.

“He volunteered and spent countless hours coaching basketball and working with organizations that make our city a better place. Helping a friend lose his life and we will do everything to bring his killer to justice.”

Police say the suspect was less than six feet tall and had tattoos on his neck and dark wavy hair. He wore a white Nike track suit top, blue jeans and white runners.

Police say anyone with information about a homicide, or the identity of a suspect, can call the non-emergency at 403-266-1234. Suggestions can be made to Crime Stoppers anonymously.