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Police release man arrested in shooting of German tourist near Calgary

Last Updated Aug 5, 2018 at 3:40 pm EDT

COCHRANE, Alta. – A man who was arrested in an investigation into the shooting of a German tourist west of Calgary has been released without charges.

RCMP say they and Calgary police are still actively investigating the shooting, which happened shortly before noon on Thursday near Morley, Alta.

On Friday, police said they had seized a black car they had been seeking and arrested a man, but Cpl. Laurel Scott stressed at the time that they weren’t calling him a suspect.

Police did not say why the man was released, and note that they won’t issue any additional updates until investigators have confirmed information to relay to the public.

Police have said the bullet penetrated the head of the 60-year-old victim, and while he was conscious and speaking when he was airlifted to a Calgary hospital, police said he could suffer lasting, permanent effects from the trauma.

Investigators had originally suggested the shooting could be a case of road rage, but later discounted that theory on Friday.

“We know how much the public is interested, and wanting an update on this terrible incident, but we are mindful of not compromising our investigation,” Insp. Lauren Weare of the Cochrane RCMP detachment, said in the latest news release.

“A solid investigation which will stand the tests of the court is methodical and takes time. We thank the public for their patience while our members focus on their tasks.”

Sgt. Tom Kalis said Friday that the tourist was driving a truck near the rodeo grounds of Stoney Nakoda First Nation when he was shot, causing his vehicle to hit the ditch and strike a pole.

Three family members who were passengers in the truck suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash.

Police said Sunday the man who was shot remains in hospital, still in critical but stable condition. They also said his family is appreciative of support they have received.

Investigators had said they wanted to speak with a man driving an RV who called 911 and may have witnessed what happened. They now say the driver has contacted police.

Alberta’s tourism minister issued a statement on the weekend extending the government’s “support and thoughts to the victim and his family.”

“This appears to be a singular incident, and not at all indicative of the experience of most travellers to Alberta,” Ricardo Miranda said. “Thousands of tourists from Germany and other countries visit Alberta each year and enjoy safe, memorable experiences in our breathtaking landscapes.”

“As we await more details of the police investigation, we will continue to support the victim and his family in any way possible.”