Edmonton police investigate drive-by shooting at wrongly targeted house

Grandmother Nati Escober has planned to plant strawberry and tomato plants in her Mayfield backyard Sunday morning.

Instead, she was standing in the kitchen, texting a friend in the Philippines, when someone fired about a dozen shots at the back of her house — piercing a wooden fence, shattering a truck window, and pock marking at the house’s stucco exterior.

A bullet made it through the bathroom window frame and landed on the floor, minutes after her son was in the room. None of the four people living in the house — including a four-month-old baby — were injured.

“I’m stressed,” Escober said Sunday afternoon, adding she’s scared go in her backyard to fry a fish for dinner, as she had planned to do.

“I could have been hit,” she said, examining the fence.

Police got a call at 8:46 a.m. Sunday from the family living near 159 Street and 107A Avenue, saying multiple shots had been fired at the back of their house, said Staff Sgt. Frank Metselaar.

“The house that was hit — completely innocent family. No criminality, no ties. It’s kind of a bit of a mystery here. We suspect it’s probably the wrong house, but we’re trying to figure out which was the target,” Metselaar said.

Police are seeking a white SUV that may have been involved, and were door-knocking in the neighbourhood Sunday morning to sleuth out possible motives and the intended target of the shooting, he said.

Escober said she saw flashes of light out the window — which she initially thought were fireworks — then saw the back of what she thinks was a white SUV drive off westward down the alley.

Her son Mark Escober, 32, said he heard a banging sound, like someone dropping something heavy. Mark, who works as a welder, said his wife and baby were in bed at the time. He’s owned the house for about 10 years, and never heard of a shooting in his neighbourhood.

Edward Vargas, who is Mark’s brother and Nati’s son, said the family is shocked by the incident — they don’t have any problems with anyone, he said.

“Why the heck would people do this? We’re good people here.”

He’s grateful the bungalow is constructed from older materials, so most of the bullets stayed outside the house.

“It’s kind of scary to be honest, especially if you have a family,” Vargas said.

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