Mill Woods family recounts violent break-in that left father, husband dead: ‘We need justice’ |

Like countless immigrants before him, Barinder Singh brought his family to Canada for a chance at a better life: a land of opportunity for his wife and two daughters to thrive in.

Now, he is dead and his widow Jasjeet Kaur has been left shattered and reeling, trying to comprehend the seemingly random violence that took her husband’s life in the middle of the night and left one of her daughters injured.

“It’s all like a nightmare for us,” she said while speaking with Global News on Tuesday about the overnight home invasion on New Year’s Day in southeast Edmonton.

Kaur can’t imagine anyone wanting to hurt her family — but that’s exactly what happened.

The family of four was asleep inside their unit at the Boardwalk Tamarack East and West townhouse complex on Mill Woods Road East/38 Street and 16 A Avenue, when they said the front door was smashed in and bullets began flying.

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“Somebody broke into the house. We all were sleeping and there was a number of gunshots,” an emotional Kaur said of the violence that was over as soon as it started.

“It was all within like, 60 seconds or one-and-a-half minutes.”

She thinks there were up to three intruders but can’t be certain — Kaur has trouble determining what details of the traumatic night are real memories and what are nightmares.

“Is it a dream, what we are recalling, or it actually happened? We don’t know.”

As quickly as they came, the unknown intruders left. One of her daughters was sleeping in the den and was hit by a bullet. Her husband was left lying in a pool of blood on the floor.

“I was like, what to do? Shall I take care of him or shall I take care of her?” Kaur said tearfully of the impossible choice.

“I asked him not to sleep. Not to sleep. Wake up. Wake up.

“I was screaming at the highest pitch for help,” she said. “It happened and there was a silence… complete silence in the house.”

Police said officers responded to a disturbance around 2:45 a.m. and arrived at the complex in the Pollard Meadows neighbourhood to find an injured 21-year-old woman and 51-year-old man. The family says Singh was actually 50 – his birthday was coming up in April.

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The Boardwalk Tamarack East and West townhouse complex on Mill Woods Road East/38 Street and 16 A Avenue, where a man was fatally shot on Jan. 1, 2023.

Global News

Kaur said police arrived very quickly and immediately went to work trying to save her husband. EMS rushed Singh to hospital, but he didn’t make it.

An autopsy was done last week. On Monday, police said Singh died from gunshot wounds and the medical examiner determined the manner of death was a homicide.

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Police said the homicide unit is following several leads, but is still working to establish a motive for this violent crime.

While looking into the homicide, police found a burnt-out vehicle in the nearby Laurel neighbourhood. It was discovered on a new home construction lot, about a dozen blocks east of the shooting scene, near 24 Street and 14 Avenue.

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Police said they think the 2012 white Dodge Ram truck is connected to the crime. Kaur said the vehicle didn’t belong to them.

Theft didn’t appear to be a motive, the family said.

“They didn’t take a single penny from the house. Nothing,” said one of the daughters, who did not want to appear on camera or be named.

Kaur said when her daughter was shot at such a close distance, the bullet entered her shoulder on one side of her body and exited out her back, leaving her with two wounds and three fractured ribs.

The young woman was hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, but has since been released and is expected to make a full recovery — physically, at least. The emotional scars will likely never heal.

Singh’s widow hopes Edmontonians can help find those responsible.

“We need justice. I just want to know who did this. I need to know. Why… Why my family was the target? And it was not just him — it was the whole family.”

Barinder Singh, 50, was killed in southeast Edmonton on Jan. 1, 2023.

Homicide detectives have remained tight lipped and had no new details to share when Global News reached out on Tuesday.

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Kaur said when she talked to investigators, she was told that is to protect the integrity of the case.

“I respect them because they say that if they say something, it may affect the investigation. I don’t want that,” Kaur said.

“I want the culprits. I want to know the reason why it happened.”

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The family lives in a constant state of fear. Kaur said she returned to their home this past Monday with her sister and daughter to collect some belongings and while inside, someone rang the doorbell and all three women froze.

“Nobody had the courage to go open (the door) and just to see even who’s there,” she said.

“We are very scared.”

The family is no longer staying at the complex in Mill Woods and said as hard of a struggle as it is to be homeless, they don’t feel safe returning: “We don’t have a house to stay.”

On Tuesday, finger print dust and evidence markers remained on the smashed door of the home at the townhouse complex.

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Personal safety is top of mind for all three women now left to fend for themselves in a strange place.

“It’s not just one community is being targeted or anything like that. Nobody is safe,” one of the daughters said of the violence being experienced in communities across Edmonton.

“I don’t feel safe, secure, anywhere.”

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Singh worked for the same hospitality company for 25 years in India before coming to Canada, the family said. He was a quiet man who thrived on feeding others and making people happy.

The family came to Canada a few years ago, at first arriving in B.C. before moving to Edmonton and settling into their townhome in Mill Woods: “Everything was new to us.”

Everyone in the family was pitching in to get by: both daughters have jobs, Kaur works at a 7/11 and her husband worked six days a week at an Indian restaurant in the city’s deep southeast Walker neighbourhood called Royal Sweets. She said he spent half of his time, perhaps even more, at work.

“We were just in struggling mode.”

When he wasn’t at work, the family said he was helping with household responsibilities or assisting his small group of friends from India: “He never used to socialize much — he was happy with his few friends.”

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“He was a simple person, a simple man.”

Barinder Singh, 50, was killed in southeast Edmonton on Jan. 1, 2023.


Kaur said she knows maybe 20 families here and feels very alone.

“I never expected this from Canada, I didn’t come here for this reason.”

She can’t even say now why they left their old lives behind.

“I don’t know. I don’t know,” she said through tears with a hopeless shrug.

The family has started a GoFundMe to help with the unexpected funeral costs.

Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a cellphone.

Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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