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Calgary man charged in fatal downtown shooting, after national search

·1 min read
John Smith, pictured with his sisters, Sade and Krystal Smith. Smith was killed in a  random downtown Calgary shooting on Oct. 12.  (Calgary Police Service - image credit)
John Smith, pictured with his sisters, Sade and Krystal Smith. Smith was killed in a random downtown Calgary shooting on Oct. 12. (Calgary Police Service - image credit)

Calgary police have charged a man in connection with the fatal shooting of John Smith Jr., a 31-year-old basketball player and volunteer mentor, after the search was expanded to all of Canada.

Calgarian Jesse Michael Martinez, 35, was charged with second-degree murder in connection to the fatal shooting, police said in a Thursday statement.

Martinez was arrested by homicide detectives around 3 p.m. Thursday.

Police say he will remain in custody until he can appear before a judge, but a court date has not yet been set.

Previously, police had taken the search for Martinez nationally, and said he was wanted on Canada-wide warrants in connection to Smith's death.

Calgary Police Service
Calgary Police Service

On Oct. 10, police were called to Junction Underground nightclub — located on Eighth Avenue S.W. — just before 2:45 a.m. for reports that someone had been shot outside the bar. At that time, police transported Smith to hospital, where he later died.

Police had called the crime random, and said that Smith had intervened on behalf of a female friend who was facing unwanted sexual advances and touching.

Smith was described by friends and family as a man who volunteered countless hours to coach basketball and served with organizations in Calgary.

"While charges being laid will not bring John back, we hope it is the first step in getting him and his family justice," homicide unit Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta said.

Police also thanked the community for their help and support during the investigation.

"From the businesses that provided access to their CCTV to the numerous people who called in to help us identify a suspect, people stepped up in a big way to help our investigators move this case forward quickly."

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