Canada’s most wanted: Family of Calgary mother of five hopes for ‘justice’ |


Tragedy continues to plague Angela McKenzie’s family as they await the arrest of the man accused in her death, Talal Amer, one of Canada’s most wanted.

In the spring of 2022, McKenzie was on her way home to her five children when the driver of a red truck, fleeing the scene of a shooting, sped through an intersection and hit her van.

McKenzie, 40, died at the scene.

The driver was captured on CCTV as he got out of the truck and fled the area.

A Canada-wide warrant was issued for the arrest of Talal Amer.

More than a year later, Amer remains at large, as McKenzie’s family struggles to grieve knowing he hasn’t faced the justice system.

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“His rage and the attempt to kill someone else ended up killing my daughter, a mother of five children,” Angela’s mother Sylvia McKenzie said.

Officials believe Amer could be in B.C. but Global News has confirmed he has ties overseas to both Lebanon and Syria.

Amer is featured as one of Canada’s Most Wanted by the BOLO program, which stands for “Be On the Lookout.”

The program is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for anyone who has information that leads to the arrest of Amer.

The program’s goal is to boost awareness of the featured cases in order to generate tips, which go directly to Crime Stoppers and the investigating police agencies.

There’s also the hope that people who know these individuals will be enticed by the cash being offered.

“It doesn’t matter who calls. It doesn’t matter where that tipster is,” BOLO program director Max Langlois said. “All that matters is to have a location for the suspect.”

“Our objective is indeed to get Canadians on the lookout for these dangerous fugitives,” Langlois added.

A single mother of five killed

McKenzie was a single mother of five who worked and volunteered at her church and the kids’ school.

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At 40, she found love again when she reconnected with an old family friend, Jeff Poirier. Not long after, they were engaged

But Jeff and Angela never got a chance to plan their wedding.

Without warning, their whirlwind romance came to a devastating and abrupt end on May 10, 2022.

The McKenzie family poses for a picture. After Angela’s death, Jeff and Angela’s mother Sylvia became co-parents of the five children. (Photo provided by McKenzie family)

The McKenzie family poses for a picture. After Angela’s death, Jeff and Angela’s mother Sylvia became co-parents of the five children.

Photo provided by McKenzie family

That night, Angela spent time with Jeff, before meeting up with some friends. When she got in her van to head home, she had no idea the chaos that was unfolding nearby — or the danger that was headed in her direction.

“We received reports of two erratic drivers on 36th Street and then specifically that a red truck was seen to be chasing a smaller sedan type of vehicle,” Calgary Police Homicide Det. Reagan Hossack said.

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Shots were fired and bullets pierced through the walls of several homes in the area.

The driver of the small sedan was hit, causing him to lose control and collide with another moving vehicle from behind.

The driver of the red truck took off at high speeds. What happened next was captured by several City of Calgary traffic cameras.

McKenzie was driving northbound and turned left to go west — at the exact moment the red truck sped through the intersection.

Her van was violently struck on the passenger side and sent reeling across to the southwest corner of the intersection and onto the sidewalk.

Police and EMS arrived within minutes, but it was too late. Angela died at the scene.

Jeff Poirier and Angela McKenzie were longtime family friends who reconnected later in life. The two were set to get married before Angela was tragically killed.

Photo provided by McKenzie family

Angela’s fiancé, Jeff Poirier, began to worry when she didn’t answer his calls, and decided to retrace her route home. Three kilometres from his home, he came across the crash scene.

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“I knew that I was going to have to be the one that was going to tell Sylvia, I couldn’t let a police officer do that,” Poirier said. “That was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do other than telling the kids.”

The investigation: who is Talal Amer

Moments after the high-speed collision that killed McKenzie on May 10, 2022, the driver of the red truck was captured on surveillance video fleeing the scene.

He was recorded by another camera a short distance away catching a ride from someone a few minutes later.

Police determined the red truck was stolen.

“We located items in the vehicle which led to other investigative avenues which identified the suspect, and that included some more CCTV, DNA evidence,” Hossack said.

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Talal Amer was charged with manslaughter, attempted murder, and other weapons offences, and a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest.

Amer has a history with police and his previous sentence ended just five days before the crash that killed McKenzie.

“Talal was somebody who came to our attention as being an individual who was willing and prepared to take any overt action against who he thought might be a rival or competition,” Calgary Police Det. Mike Shute said.

“Through our investigation, we learned that Talal was a Canadian citizen, that he grew up in Calgary and attended school in Calgary,” Det. Shute said. “We learned that his family, his mom, was from Syria, his dad was from Lebanon, and he had multiple family relations within Calgary.”

Amer was arrested in 2016 following a seven-month-long police investigation dubbed “Operation Hybrid.”

“There was a couple of different drugs that they were dealing, but quite often it was fentanyl that they were trafficking,” Shute said.

Amer pleaded guilty to two charges including discharging a firearm with intent and conspiring to traffic drugs and was sentenced to three years in prison.

According to documents obtained by Global News from the Parole Board of Canada, Amer has been under investigation by police for two other homicides in the City of Calgary.

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The board also noted Amer’s “institutional behaviour was problematic and included serious charges related to weapons and drug paraphernalia.” The board also alleged he was “involved in an inmate assault causing severe injuries and requiring hospitalization.”

Amer was granted statutory release in 2021 but his warrant expiry date, the end of his sentence and the end of his parole, was May 5, 2022.

The charges Amer is facing, stemming from the 2022 shooting and the crash, have not been proven in court.

A family plagued by tragedy

Jeff Poirier and Angela’s mother, Sylvia, applied for, and were granted, joint custody of her five children.

“From that point on, me and Oma (Sylvia) took a crash course in co-parenting and, you know, just started figuring out what we were going to do and how we were going to do it,” he said.

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They shared their heartbreaking story for Global TV’s new series Crime Beat: Most Wanted. Poirier expressed his frustration that Amer continues to remain at large.

“Yeah, I’m angry at the guy,” he said. “I definitely want to see justice.”

But during the filming of the episode, the family was once again struck by tragedy. Suddenly and unexpectedly, Poirier passed away.

McKenzie’s mother is now raising her five children on her own and a GoFundMe page has been created for the children. The family still wants justice for McKenzie and hopes this episode will reach someone who knows something.

This special Crime Beat: Most Wanted episode is in Angela McKenzie and Jeff Poirier’s memories.

If you have any information that could lead to the arrest of Talal Amer you can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. There’s a reward of up to $50,000 which can also be collected anonymously.

To learn more about the search for Talal Amer, watch Global TV’s new series Crime Beat: Most Wanted on Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. local time across Canada.


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