Tuesday, March 22, 2005 4:27 AM CST
Sherri Zickefoose/Calgary Herald/March 18, 2005
Police are looking for witnesses to link a slain gang member to another unsolved murder.
People who saw Aaron Shoulders being stabbed and beaten outside a downtown nightclub on Aug. 17, 2003, could hold the key to connecting 22-year-old John Pheng to Shoulder’s death.
Pheng, who was shot dead Feb. 26, has been named the killer of Jason Dang, who was stabbed to death Jan.1, 2004. Pheng’s name has come up in a number of homicide investigations, including the Shoulders Case, said Staff Sgt. Cochran. Shoulders mother, Steffi Stehwien, said anyone who saw her son’s attacker plunge a knife into his abdomen or knows who was part of the fight needs to tell to Police.
“There’s a sparkle of hope for me because they finally solved Dang’s case,” said Stehwien. “These witnesses need to come forward. I am hoping and praying they can solve it.”
Unconfirmed reports of Pheng being part of the group that mobbed Shoulders and four friends outside Nyla, a bar at 1214 1st St. SW., started immediately, Stehwien said.
“We’ve heard that name (Pheng) all along since it happened,” Stehwien said. “(He) got the death sentence if he did actually stabbed my son.”
Following Pheng’s shooting death at the Shaken Drink Room bar on 17th Ave S.W., police reinterviewed people from Dang’s murder case who no longer had to fear Pheng.
“That’s what makes me furious. People are scared and these guys get away with it again and again,” said Stehwien. “My cry is to the witnesses.”
The night Shoulders was stabbed, a friend got into an argument with another group over a girl his friend wanted to dance with, Stehwien said. Security kicked out the group of five friends, and the other group followed them. According to a police report, 15 to 30 men swarmed the group of five. One of the attackers had a stick with nails and screws in it. One man was stabbed 7 times and survived. Shoulders died in Hospital two weeks later.
The RCMP considered Pheng a “person of interest” in a Chestermere home invasion involving several last September. Pheng was questioned, but never charged. Police continue their investigation into Pheng’s death, but have made no arrests.