A relative of Randy Munian says his family is shocked and dismayed that the man they knew as a “teddy bear” was shot and killed after he and another suspect robbed an armoured truck in southeast Edmonton Friday.
“It’s just a shock to us all on what happened. I don’t know if he was living a double life. That’s not the Randy I knew. We were shocked when we saw it plastered on social media,” his cousin Wanda Hennick said over the phone from Cape Breton. “We just can’t comprehend that side of him.”
Munian, 40, was found dead in a grassy area adjacent to the TD Canada Trust Branch near 25 Avenue and Hewes Way at about 12:45 a.m. Friday. An autopsy confirmed Munian died from a gunshot wound to the torso.
Police said two robbery suspects approached two Garda World armoured truck guards, pepper sprayed them and demanded cash before one of the guards opened fire, killing Munian while the other ran from the scene. The amount of cash stolen is not being disclosed for investigative reasons, police said. The second suspect was still at large as of Sunday afternoon.
A Facebook picture of Munian pointing a handgun at the camera circulated in media reports Friday, but Hennick said the man she knew wasn’t “this big, mean, bad criminal” like he’s being portrayed. Munian was involved in some petty crime during his childhood, she said, but nothing serious.
“He is a human being, he was a person, he does have family, no matter what role he chose,” she said.
“We used to pick on him because we used to say he looks like the Rock, and he’d say, ‘No, the Rock looks like me,’ as a joke. He was big, muscular, whatever, but he was soft as a teddy bear,” she said.
Even though Munian left Cape Breton for Toronto when he was 18 or 19, he didn’t lose touch with his family. He called often to check up on everyone and was very “family-oriented.” He was father, she said.
The family had no sense from those phone calls or his Facebook posts that there was any trouble in his life.
Whenever they spoke on the phone, Munian’s oft-used phrase was, “Living life with no regrets,” Hennick said. He seemed “happy-go-lucky,” always more interested in asking about his family back in Nova Scotia than talking about himself, she said.
Another cousin, Jason Maclellan, said in a text message to Postmedia that Munian would “give the shirt off of his back to help a family member.”
“He had a great sense of humour. He was truly one of a kind. So sad that he got mixed up with some wrong people in Edmonton. He will be missed,” Maclellan wrote.
In early 2004, Munian lived in the same rooming house as Thomas Svekla, who would later be convicted of killing Theresa Innes, an Edmonton sex-trade worker. Munian testified during Svekla’s trial for the murder of another sex-trade worker, Rachel Quinney. The testimony linking Svekla to Quinney was a key element in the Crown’s circumstantial case, however Svekla was acquitted.
Munian’s death marks the city’s 27th homicide of 2016. Police say it’s a non-culpable homicide and no charges will be laid against the guard, who reacted in self-defence. The guards were treated at the robbery scene by emergency crews, but were otherwise unharmed.
“People chose their path and some chose good and some chose bad, but deep down inside, you’re a person, you’re a human, and in his case, I would never know him as the bad person,” Hennick said.