Youth charged in shooting death of teen in Arbour Lake

The arrest came the day after Jal Acor Jal’s family issued a plea for any information that could help the investigation

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Calgary police have charged a minor in last week’s shooting death of 16-year-old Jal Acor Jal.

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Officers arrested a male youth in connection to the homicide. The suspect, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was charged with second-degree murder and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Police found Jal dead on March 31 around 8:30 p.m., after receiving reports of an injured person at a green space behind the 100 block of Arbour Meadows Close N.W.

They took the suspect into custody Tuesday after executing a search warrant on a residence related to their investigation.

The arrest came the day after Jal’s family issued a plea to northwest Calgary residents to review security footage and come forward with any information that could help the investigation into the fatal shooting.

Police said their homicide unit canvassed Arbour Lake to collect CCTV footage and speak with witnesses, adding they worked closely with Jal’s family and friends over the course of the investigation.

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“We would like to thank Jal’s family, friends, and his community for trusting us to find answers. We could not have done this without their help, and without the help of the residents of Arbour Lake,” Homicide Unit Staff Sgt. Sean Gregson said in a news release.

“While we are thankful we are able to bring answers to his family, this is a sad conclusion to an already tragic event.”

Jal was a student at St. Francis High School, and a member of the school’s junior basketball and football teams. In a statement to Postmedia, the Calgary Catholic School District said it was saddened by the loss of a student, adding counsellors have been made available to support students. A memorial for Jal has been set up at the school.

Speaking to media Monday, family members of Jal described the teen as a compassionate and beloved member of his community.

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“His presence would light up the room when he enters. He soul was so pure. Jal was so loving and thoughtful. He did very little to make everyone smile because he was naturally a friendly and affectionate person,” said Achan Acor Jal, one of Jal’s aunts.

“He recently discussed with his family and coaches about continuing his basketball game in the States. We love Jal Jal so much. His friends and his family miss him.”

A GoFundMe campaign started by the family had raised more than $19,000 to fund funeral costs and support Jal’s family.

Jal’s death was the first in a spate of shooting deaths across Calgary last week, though police have said they believe the three recent murders aren’t connected.

—With files from Stephanie Babych

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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