A house party took a vicious turn Saturday morning after a group of young men invaded a home and killed a 17-year-old Bev Facey student with a baseball bat.
Shane Rolston, a rural Strathcona County resident, died of head injuries Saturday afternoon following the attack at the Forrest Drive home. Four 18-year-olds and one youth from Edmonton face charges of first-degree murder and two counts of assault with a weapon.
The accused adults are Justin Tate Bridges, Christopher Thomas Griffiths, Jonathan Patrick Giourmetakis, and Josiah James Lawson. They are all to appear in Sherwood Park provincial court today.
One of the alleged attackers can’t be named as he was 17 at the time of the attack, although he has since turned 18.
Strathcona RCMP were first called to the house at 1:35 a.m. after receiving a noise complaint from a neighbour. Police say 50 to 100 people were at the home. The couple who own the house were vacationing out of the country. When police arrived, the crowd quickly dispersed.
“Nine out of 10 times when we show up to these things, people leave,” said RCMP media liaison Darren Anderson.
Police were told there had been a dispute and one of the accused punched another party guest in the face. One hour later, the five males returned, armed with bats and aerosol pepper spray. Rolston answered the door. He was struck in the head with a bat.
Police were called at 2:37 a.m. and told of an assault in progress. They responded and found Rolston lying unconscious in the foyer. The attackers had already left. The teen was taken to hospital by ambulance but died from his injuries early Saturday afternoon. Other teens at the party were injured, however, police say none of them needed immediate medical attention.
Robby Gilmet and Chris Christian were at the party and left shortly before the attack occurred. They said everything had been going well until the group from Millwoods punched one of their friends in the face in an unprovoked assault. At that point, the Edmontonians were told to leave but upon doing so vowed retribution. Gilmet said he’d met the group before and thought they were OK.
“They didn’t seem like they could do something like that,” noted Christian. “I don’t know why they have to come out here and bring violence.”
“I liked them,” added Gilmet. “Then they have to pull something like that.”
After the party shut down, Rolston, who was the designated driver for the evening, took some friends home. By the end of the night he was said to be the “only sober person there.” After ferrying his first lot of friends back to their homes, he returned to the Forrest Drive home to pick up a couple more partiers. Then the Edmontonians returned with weapons.
“They came back and stormed through the door and started hitting everybody,” said Christian, who heard about the attack from the victims the next day.
He was told it “sounded like a slaughterhouse. People were just screaming.”
Gilmet and Christian said Rolston was a tremendously likeable person.
“He was a good guy,” said Gilmet. “He didn’t deserve it at all. He didn’t have anything to do with it.