January 20th, 2021

Man sentenced for threats involving imitation gun

By Shurtz, Delon on April 9, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald


David Guenther Krahn was high on meth when he walked into a Shoppers Drug Mart last year, pulled out a handgun and threatened to shoot everyone.

The weapon, police later learned, was only a BB gun, which is considered an imitation gun under Canada’s Criminal Code. But the store clerks and customers, including a young boy, who were in the store at the time, didn’t know the gun was fake.

Krahn pleaded guilty last November to a single charge of pointing a firearm and two charges of uttering threats to cause death, and Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court the 22-year-old man was sentenced to 13 months in jail, minus about eight months he spent in pre-trial custody.

The charges stem from an incident Oct. 29 when Krahn tried to return a camera he bought two days earlier from Shoppers Drug Mart on the westside. The first clerk he spoke to referred him to a second clerk, who was unable to process his request that day. Krahn became angry, shoved the camera toward the clerk and yelled at her, telling her to keep it.

“He got mad and frustrated,” Crown prosecutor Michael Fox said of Krahn’s reaction.

As Krahn approached the store exit, he stopped, pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the employees.

“I’m gonna come back and shoot you all up,” he yelled before leaving the store.

The store’s security camera caught Krahn pointing the gun, and a woman outside the store saw and heard Krahn as he was leaving. He was also seen and identified by another witness.

Krahn was caught the following day after police received a tip from an individual who saw a Facebook post by the suspect announcing he was eating lunch at a particular restaurant. The informant recognized Krahn’s name from a list of people wanted by police and contacted authorities, leading them to the restaurant.

When police arrived, Krahn was in the bathroom, but one of the officers banged on the door, pretending to be a customer who needed to get in. When Krahn unlocked the door and came out, he was arrested. Police found an airsoft BB gun in the bathroom trash can.

Although Krahn pleaded guilty to the charges several months ago, sentencing was adjourned to allow time for the preparation of a pre-sentence report and psychological assessment.

Fox noted during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, the reports indicate Krahn, who has a lengthy criminal record, is not remorseful for his actions and is likely to re-offend. For those reasons Fox recommended Krahn be placed on probation after he is released from jail and ordered to take counselling.

Lethbridge lawyer Scott Hadford pointed out Krahn, who suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and ADHD, lacks empathy and doesn’t care about anything when he is using meth, but he has moments of lucidity and empathy when he’s sober, as he has been while in custody.

“A sober Mr. Krahn is a much healthier man, both for himself and for society,” Hadford said.

Following his jail sentence, Krahn will be on probation for 18 months, during which he must take counselling for anger management and substance abuse. He is prohibited from possessing certain weapons for 10 years, and others for life, and he must not consume any intoxicating substances. He is also prohibited from going to the westside Shoppers Drug Mart.

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