Maurice Cardinal and Jake Sansom were shot to death on a rural road northeast of Edmonton, Alberta on Friday, March 27th. Their bodies were discovered outside their truck by motorists early the next morning. Details are still emerging.
Anthony Bilodeau, 31, has been arrested and charged with the 2nd-degree murder of the two men. He apparently turned himself in for the crime, and surveillance video supports him being there. A motive for the crime has not been released. Bilodeau will appear in court on April 9th.
Sansom and Cardinal had parked on the road and were in a “dispute” with the occupants of another vehicle, Royal Canadian Mounted Police told Oxygen.com. Bilodeau allegedly came upon two vehicles in his own vehicle and “fired several shots” at the two hunters, killing them both. The police have not revealed details about the weapon used.
“Anthony was in the third vehicle,” Sergeant Jason Zazulak, of Alberta RCMP’s Serious Crimes, said. “The altercation between the victims and the occupants of the second vehicle was underway when Anthony arrived.”
Sansom, 39, had been hunting that day with his 57-year-old uncle, Mr. Cardinal. Sansom and Cardinal had Metís hunting rights and had successfully killed a moose earlier that day.
According to the CBC, the two had spent the rest of the day and into the evening with friends and family processing the carcass. They were shot after leaving Cardinal’s stepson’s home that evening.
“I just don’t get why somebody could murder two people for no reason like that,” Sansom’s brother, Mike Sansom said. “They didn’t rob them. The cops said nothing was missing. They pulled up just to kill them, just because. I just don’t understand that.”
Sansom was married and a father of three children. He had recently been laid off from Suncor in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. He worked as a heavy mechanic and technician in northern Alberta’s oil fields. Suncor is the largest company in Canada.
This is not the typical season for hunting moose, but as members of the Metís indigenous people, Sansom and Cardinal had special hunting rights. The moose will provide food for their families, helping to alleviate the burden of being laid off.
Sansom was also a motivational speaker, Ju-Jitsu teacher, and volunteer firefighter in Nobleford, Alberta, where he lived. “Jake was my soul mate,” his wife, Sarah wrote on Facebook. “And I will never ever be okay. But I’ll keep going, because I know how loved he was.” The two had known each other since high school.