Witness in massacre trial says gunman calm

Article originally appeared in: Calgary Sun

Two men dressed like "ninjas" calmly and methodically entered the Bolsa restaurant and began firing, a patron told Calgary's New Year's Day massacre trial Tuesday.

Geraldine Loranger said she and a friend were sitting at a booth enjoying a late lunch when the gunfire erupted.

"Shortly after our food arrived, I didn't see somebody come in — it was a loud ruckus," Loranger said.

"Like firecrackers had been set off," she told Crown prosecutor Rajbir Dhillon.

Moments later, Loranger realized the noises were more sinister, she said, as a dark figure passed her chair.

"I see he has a gun in his hand and he's shooting — I could smell gun smoke," Loranger said.

She said the gunman didn't seem panicked at all.

"He never stopped, he wasn't in a hurry, he wasn't rushing, he was just deliberately firing his gun."

On trial for three counts of first-degree murder in the Jan. 1, 2009 carnage is Calgarian Real Christian Honorio.

Honorio is accused of being one of two gunmen who opened fire inside the Vietnamese restaurant off Macleod Tr. S., killing gang member Sanjeev Mann and his associate, Aaron Bendle.

Patron Keni Su'a, who fled when the shooting started, was slain by a third gunman outside.

Loranger, who was seated with her friend Madelyn Dewitt, said the first gunman passed right by her.

"I could have reached out and touched him he was that close," she told a Court of Queen's Bench jury.

She said she saw the gunman wave a second shooter down another aisle and both started firing.

"It was like stereophonic, on both sides of me," Loranger said of the gunshots.

"They never spoke, they never said a word."

She said both men fired multiple shots.

"It seemed like 15 or 20, it just kept on coming, shooting and shooting and shooting," Loranger said.

"They were deafening."

When the shots ended, she heard a woman yelling.

"I heard a blood-curdling scream and it came from the back of the restaurant," Loranger said.

After the shooting, Dewitt said she saw one victim lying on the floor next to their table.

"There was all blood around his head and he was saying call the police," Dewitt testified.

Honorio's trial continues Wednesday.