A young Alberta family is in shock after a weekend camping trip took a frightening turn.
Mackenzie Robbie and Trevor Feasey took their children on their first camping trip over the May long weekend. They stayed at WildHay River Provincial Recreation Area, north of Hinton.
Feasey said he and his son went for a little hike on Sunday to look at the river, about 500 feet from the campsite.
“As we went down the ATV trail, it opened up to the river,” Feasey said.
“As we got to the opening, I saw a guy standing across the river there… looking at me. I was looking at him.”
He said the man had a rifle by his side and then pulled it up.
“I was just looking at him, dumbfounded… Next thing you know… he’s shooting.
“I pushed… (my son) down, took cover and… then the second shot went off.”
Feasey said he yelled at the man to make sure he saw them.
“Third shot went off (and I) yelled out again. I realized he probably knows we’re there. There’s no trees or anything in between us. At that point, I got over… (my son) too, got into cover.”
Then, three more shots were fired, Feasey said.
“I picked up my boy, we kind of ran back to camp the way we came, got the girls in the truck and drove along Highway 40 to call RCMP.”
At first, Robbie didn’t believe what her partner was telling her.
“I heard the gunshots and… (our daughter) heard the gunshots,” she recalled. “We were putting her down for a nap and she asked me what the sound was.”
When Feasey explained the close call, Robbie was stunned.
“I was like: ‘Holy crap, this can’t be happening.’”
They left everything at the campsite, put out the fire quickly and tried to stay calm and then drove up the highway to get cell service.
They tried calling 911, but Robbie said it took nearly 20 minutes to get service so the dispatch would stay connected and transfer them to Hinton RCMP.
In a news release Wednesday morning, Hinton RCMP said officers responded to a report of a firearm being discharged in a rural area near the WildHay River Provincial Recreation Area at around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“Officers responded and searched the area for several hours but the suspect of the alleged firearm discharge was not located.”
RCMP said no one was physically injured.
Hinton RCMP are asking the public for help identifying the suspect, who they describe as about six feet tall and 240 pounds, with a large stomach, no facial hair and short, light-coloured blond hair. They said he was possibly wearing a purple T-shirt or a tight shirt with rolled-up sleeves and white or khaki shorts. He may have been driving a side-by-side UTV with a yellow hood.
Anyone who may have seen a man with a firearm matching the description is asked to contact the Hinton RCMP detachment at 780-865-2455.
Robbie said several police units responded, along with Fish and Wildlife officers, EMS and various ATV resources.
She said officers were not able to find the man.