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James Michael ROSZKO






The Mayerthorpe Incident
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Canada's deadliest police shooting in 120 years - Marijuana grow-op
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: March 3, 2005
Date of birth: 1959?
Victims profile: Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constables Peter Schiemann, Anthony Gordon, Lionide Johnston, and Brock Myrol
Method of murder: Shooting (Heckler & Koch 91, a civilian version of a military battle rifle)
Location: Rochfort Bridge, Alberta, Canada
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself the same day


Excerpts from RCMP press release and search warrants

Mark Hnatiw

Mark Hnatiw met an irate Roszko when he arrived at the farm on March 2, 2005.

MARCH 2, 2005

3:00 PM: Edmonton bailiffs Mark Hnatiw and Robert C. Parry arrive at Roszko farm to execute civil enforcement warrant for a 2005 Ford F 350 truck on behalf of Kentwood Ford Sales of Edmonton, Alberta. Roszko releases guard dogs, yells obscenities at bailiffs.

3:20 PM: Cpl. James Martin of the RCMP detachment in nearby Mayerthorpe receives a call from the bailiffs. Roszko leaves property in a white pick-up truck.

3:25 PM: Cpl. James Martin along with Cst. Peter Schiemann arrive at the Roszko farm with the purpose of keeping the peace.

Prior to 4:00 PM: Roszko calls his aunt twice looking for his mother, he sounds anxious

3:34 PM-4:28 PM: Jimmy Roszko makes five calls looking for a friend in an attempt to ditch the white pick-up truck.


Diane Romeo

Diane Romeo was out for a ride when Roszko sped by in his truck. "We knew how protective he is of what's his...we knew it was bad and I locked all my doors."

Between 3:00-4:00 PM: James Roszko seen driving white pick-up on Range Road 80 by Diane Romeo and her family on who are riding horses on the side of the road. Shortly after police cars arrive from the north and south, looking for Roszko.

3:45 PM: After the RCMP provide tools to bailiffs to break open pipe gate in Roszko driveway, Cpl. James Martin and Cst. Peter Schiemann accompany bailiffs onto the farm. Two officers and two bailiffs enter the Quonset on farm. They discover a marijuana grow-op, "chopped" truck parts and a stolen generator.

4:05 PM: Cpl. James Martin advises all members to exit the Quonset and orders Cst. Julie Letal of the Mayerthorpe RCMP and Cst. Trevor Josok of Whitecourt RCMP to remain and secure the farm. Martin and Schiemann return to detachment to obtain a Criminal Code and Controlled Drug and Substances Act Search Warrant.

6:30 PM: Bailiffs post a copy of their seizure notice on Roszko residence and leave property.


Peter Schiemann

Cpl. Peter Schiemann was one of the first RCMP officers to arrive on the scene
at the Roszko farm.

7:30 PM: James Roszko's mother and her husband return home after being away from their home for most of the day. She receives a call from her son explaining that police were trying to repossess his truck and he needed a place to park it. He asked that she try to see if her sister would let him park it at her place. During the conversation he mentioned that he had made a will and they should pray or him. Roszko also calls his sister.

7:40 PM: RCMP Information to obtain search warrant received by Q.C. Robert Philp in Edmonton via fax.

7:55 PM: Warrant to Search issued to RCMP by Q.C. Robert Philp in Edmonton.

They were authorized to search from 8:00 pm on March 02 through to 8:00 pm on March 03, 2005. Cpl. Martin contacted the RCMP Edmonton Auto Theft Unit. It was agreed Auto Theft would attend the following day to work in daylight conditions.

Patrols were made throughout the area in an attempt to locate Mr. Roszko or his truck. One possible sighting turned out to be the wrong vehicle. A "Be On The Lookout For (BOLF)" had been issued through the RCMP Edmonton Operational Communications Center.

8:40 PM: Cpl. Martin arrived at the Roszko property with the Search Warrant, assisted by six other members.

During the search police seized:

  • Evidence of marijuana cultivation, stolen and suspected stolen property, namely, Marijuana lamps, pots containing seven marijuana plants and 88 hanging harvested plants, and notes pertaining to the maintenance and harvesting of marijuana from the residence at the location.

  • One hundred and ninety-two growing marihuana plants complete with pots, irrigation and lighting systems from the quonsit at the location.

  • A Warmac generator, the property of Trident Exploration reported stolen on the 16th of February, 2005.

  • A newer Sierra 2500 truck, Red in colour, with the vehicle identification numbers removed from the door frame and dashboard.

  • A newer model grey Ford truck which was partially disassembled and the interior stripped. This vehicle contained a vehicle identification number plate which appeared glued on the dashboard and thus is suspected to be from a different vehicle.

  • A Honda 400R dirt bike with serial numbers altered.

  • Pick truck box containing newer truck seats, truck grilles and various other new model truck parts.

  • Firearms ammunition of assorted calibers.

scene at night

the fifth estate's recreation of the scene that night of RCMP officer's searching the property.

During the residential search police also found handwritten lists itemizing the names of RCMP members from Mayerthorpe, Whitecourt and Evansburg detachments. Associated to each name was the call sign of the police car normally used by each respective RCMP member and the cellular telephone numbers assigned to each car.

Due to the quantity of disassembled vehicle parts in the quonset it became necessary to call members of the Edmonton RCMP Auto Theft Section to complete a detailed examination to identify which vehicle parts were stolen. Cst's Garrett Hoogestraat and Vigor were contacted and would attend the following morning to conduct these examinations.

9:15 PM: A call was placed to Sgt. Pinder, Mayerthorpe Detachment Commander. Sgt. Pinder was briefed on the file and developments. He then placed himself back on duty.

10:00 PM: Sgt. Pinder attended the Roszko property.

10:00 PM: James Roszko's aunt, who lives in nearby Cherhill, Alberta went to bed at 10:00 pm but was awakened approximately half-hour later by a phone call from her sister, Roszko's mother. She was asking if James Roszko could park his vehicle in her yard because people were trying to repossess it. She refused but later gave in to the request. She went to bed after waiting a short time for Roszko to arrive.


Anthony Gorden and wife

Anthony Gordon's wife Kim: "He was antsy to get back to work. It was just what he was meant to do."

11:20 PM: Constable Anthony Gordon of the nearby Whitecourt, Alberta detachment gets a call to report to the Roszko farm. He is on the last day of a vacation.

11:30 PM: Edmonton Police Service "Green Team" attended and assisted in the search operation. A tow truck from Mayerthorpe attended to assist with some of the automotive seizures. Edson Forensic Identification member attended and assisted until 2:30 am.

Throughout the evening there were several unconfirmed sightings of Roszko's vehicle in the Mayerthorpe area. To ensure the safety of the tow truck operator, a member was assigned to provide a police escort.

During the search, ammunition was found which was also factored into the assessment process and decisions made respecting who would guard the property.

Sgt. Pinder and Cpl. Martin discussed security and safety precautions with the members on site.

Cst. Gordon and Cst. Johnston were recalled to guard the scene. Cst. Johnston's vehicle contained a loaded detachment .308 caliber rifle and Cst. Gordon's vehicle contained a loaded detachment 12 gauge shotgun.


Brock Myrol

Brock Myrol arrives at the Roszko farm the morning of March 3 with drugs
to sedate the guard dogs.

MARCH 3, 2005

4:00 AM: Cpl. Martin and the Green Team leave the Roszko farm.

7:00 AM: James Roszko's aunt awakens to find the white pick-up truck parked in her yard.

8:00 AM: Two Edmonton Auto Theft members depart for the Roszko farm.

Prior to 9:00 AM:
Mayerthorpe RCMP Constables Peter Schiemann and Brock Myrol attend local Vet, clinic before returning to Roszko farm. They obtain a cocktail of Rompum (TM) Xylazine and Acepomazine and a syringe. They intend to inject the drugs into meat they have and sedate Roszko's guard dogs.

9:05 AM: Cpl. Martin checked in with members at the scene who advised there had not been any sightings of Roszko during their shift.

Cst. Schiemann, who was at the detachment, was preparing to go to Edmonton to purchase work related equipment and supplies. As it is generally inappropriate to shop in uniform, his supervisor approved civilian dress for these duties. He was on duty and on shift at the time.

Another member was scheduled to drive Cst. Myrol to the scene to relieve Cst. Gordon. That member was called back to Whitecourt at the last minute so Cst. Schiemann volunteered to drive Cst. Myrol to the Roszko property.

9:10 AM: Cst. Schiemann departed Mayerthorpe Detachment, driving Cst. Myrol to the scene. Cpl. Martin was preparing to depart at the same time when discussions arose concerning the twodogs at the Roszko property. He was further delayed by a phone call from the Green Team. While en route, Cpl. Martin heard on the radio that Auto Theft was just arriving. Cpl. Whipple also departed Mayerthorpe Detachment to assist Cpl. Martin with the ongoing search. At this point, Constables' Schiemann and Myrol were 10 to 15 minutes ahead of Corporals' Martin and Whipple.

When the two Auto Theft members arrived, they were armed and in plain clothes. They noted two members on top of a shed and the other two watching from below, a short distance from the Quonset. After administering a sedative to dogs penned in the shed the officers proceeded to the Quonset.


Leo Johnston

Leo Johnston had been on the Roszko property the preceeding night.

9:57-10:00 AM: The four members on scene; Constables Gordon, Johnston, Myrol and Schiemann then were observed walking east along the south side of the Quonset until they entered, as noted by the Auto Theft members who were readying their equipment and preparing to put on coveralls.

Moments after the four constables entered the Quonset, gun fire was heard from inside. Cst. Vigor, also a member of the Emergency Response Team, yelled out to his partner and began to proceed towards the front of the structure.

As Cst. Vigor neared the Police cars parked close to the front of the Quonset, he observed a male, later identified as James Roszko, exit. Mr. Roszko had in his possession; a Heckler and Koch Model .308 cal. assault rifle with a 20 round magazine, a semi-automatic pistol in his waist band and another long barrel firearm slung over his shoulder.

Mr. Roszko fired rounds at Cst. Vigor, narrowly missing him, however striking the parked police car. Cst. Vigor fired rounds at Mr. Roszko who was observed to re-enter the Quonset. The second Auto Theft member used his vehicle to provide cover for Cst. Vigor who immediately called for back-up as both members repositioned themselves.

Due to lighting and positioning, the Auto Theft members were not able to see inside the building. Efforts to communicate with the officers or suspect inside were met with no response.

Cpl Martin, upon hearing the call for back-up, notified neighbouring detachments. As officers arrived they secured the area.


wide shoot of scene

Becuase of their positon and the lighting, RCMP members arriving on the scene could not see inside the Quonset.

10:19 AM: A call was received for the Edmonton Emergency Response Team to deploy. At this time, officers at the scene believe one member inside the Quonset was down. The whereabouts or status of the other three members and Mr. Roszko was unknown.

In addition to the Emergency Response Team (ERT), additional resources were deployed including; Police Service Dog, Explosive Disposal Unit, Air Service provided by Edmonton Police Service's Air One, STARS Air Ambulance and the Red Deer Emergency Response Team.

While en route the ERT Commander obtained authority to request armored vehicles be dispatched by the Department of National Defense, Edmonton. Three vehicles, including an armored ambulance were dispatched.

As resources arrived, they were assigned appropriate areas of responsibility.

12:30 PM: RCMP calls military for assistance.

2:00 PM: At about 2:00 pm, members from the Explosive Disposal Unit deployed their Remote Mechanical Investigator - a robot, to enter and assess the inside of the Quonset.


photo of scene

An Edmonton Sun photo of the scene on the afternoon of March 3.

2:18 PM: The command was given for ERT to enter the Quonset. The plan was to move the members out of the Quonset for possible medical attention. At this point, the situation was treated as unsafe until determined to be secure. The scene was subsequently secured with no evidence of any other persons being involved.

The entire scene was ordered locked down and "K" Division RCMP Major Crimes were called in to conduct the investigation.

Major Crimes and General Investigation members were dispatched from Edmonton and Calgary.

To provide investigative assistance and independent oversight, a senior RCMP officer from British Columbia was tasked to take the lead on this investigation, assisted by a team from the BC ("E" Division) Major Crimes Unit.

Forensic Identification Specialists were dispatched from Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina and Halifax.

CBC News



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