Alberta family says stranger shot at them during remote camping trip

An Alberta father says he and his five-year-old son were intentionally shot at by a stranger during a family camping trip northwest of Hinton, Alta.

Trevor Feasey says he and his son were standing on a riverbank Sunday near their campsite at the Wildhay Provincial Recreation Area when a man pointed a rifle in their direction and fired at least six times.

“Every time I yelled, ‘Hey,’ another gunshot would go off,” Feasey said. 

“I could hear the bullets going, whizzing by my ear.”

RCMP were called to the park, about 40 kilometres northwest of Hinton, at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, said RCMP Const. Chantelle Kelly. 

RCMP were called to Wildhay Provincial Recreation Area, about 40 kilometres northwest of Hinton, at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday. (Submitted by Mckenzie Robbie)

After arriving, officers heard a gun discharge in the distance and temporarily shut down access to the campground, Kelly said. 

No injuries were reported.

RCMP say the alleged shooter was a white man, in his late 40s, approximately six feet tall and 240 pounds. He had a large abdomen, short, light-coloured hair and was wearing a purple shirt and white shorts. RCMP said he was possibly driving a side-by-side off-highway vehicle.

RCMP are asking anyone who saw a man matching that description to contact police. 

“This is very concerning and we don’t know who did this,” said RCMP Cpl. Deanna Fontaine.

“You have an area where people are camping, it’s very concerning, and there is no other way to look at it.” 

‘He saw us’

Feasey said he and his wife, Mckenzie Robbie, had been enjoying the long weekend camping trip away from their home in Grande Prairie. 

They first spotted the man about 150 metres from their campsite. 

Feasey had taken his son on a short walk to a small stream within view of the campsite, while Robbie stayed behind to put their three-year-old daughter down for a nap.

After they reached the water, Feasey said he noticed the man standing about 30 metres away on the opposite side of the creek. 

As he watched in disbelief, the man aimed his rifle across the open clearing and began firing in their direction.

After the third shot, I realized that he knows we’re here.– Trevor Feasey

Feasey said he pushed his son to the ground where they took cover behind a fallen tree. 

He screamed at the man and waved his arms but the shots kept coming. 

“I could hear the impact of the bullets hitting the tree,” he said. 

The man remained silent.

Feasey said he doesn’t doubt the man targeted them intentionally. 

“After the third shot, I realized that he knows we’re here,” Feasey said.

“[My son], he’s wearing a bright pink backpack and he has bright orange hair. He saw us.” 

During a pause in the shooting, he and his son ran back through the bush to the camp. The family frantically extinguished the campfire and loaded the children into their truck. 

“We didn’t even have shoes,” Robbie said. “We were out of service completely so we had to drive 15 minutes up the road to call 911.” 

Robbie grew up around hunting and target practice and said she can’t fathom why the man was shooting so close to a busy campground or why her family was apparently targeted. 

She said many families were camping in the area over the weekend. 

Robbie worries about what her children will remember of the incident and said her son has been asking about the “bad guy” in the woods. 

“It’s a scary thing,” she said. “I don’t want to think the worst of people.”