Man charged over death of security guard

Suspect moved to Canada to become paramedic

Man charged over death of security guard

A man suspected to have killed a University of British Columbia Okanagan security guard late in February has been charged.

The suspect, 22–year-old Dante Ognibene-Hebbourn of Kelowna, B.C., is facing a second-degree murder charge. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Ognibene-Hebbourn stands accused of assaulting the 24-year-old female security guard Harmandeep Kaur on Feb. 26. Kaur later died from the injuries she sustained.

“We are devastated that something like this would happen on our campus,” said Lesley Cormack, deputy vice-chancellor and principal at UBC Okanagan back then.

Back then, Ognibene-Hebbourn was arrested under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital.

“This has been a difficult few weeks for the community in the aftermath of the tragic events of Feb. 26. The response in support to the woman’s family has been remarkable,” said RCMP Insp. Beth McAndie in a news release Tuesday.

“I would like to thank the Kelowna serious crimes unit and the first responders for their work to bring this case before the court.”

Several workers also previously lost their lives while at work.

One male worker was found dead on a mine property near Val Gagne, northeast of Timmins, Ont. a day after he went missing following a workplace incident. Also, one farm worker died after being struck by lightning on Aug. 10. 2021. And one firefighter died while another sustained non-life-threatening injuries when the fire truck they were riding lost control and rolled over.

There have also been many workers who have fallen victims to assault while they are at work.

A Saskatchewan RCMP officer was shot in the head in the course of searching a property. Two off-duty Winnipeg Police officers were attacked while attempting to arrest three robbery suspects. Also, a Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operator was assaulted by several suspects.

In February, the union representing Toronto transit workers joined a nationwide effort to call for better protection for employees after two TTC workers were assaulted.

Violence in the workplace can be prevented, but “The most important component of any prevention program is management commitment,” according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).

“Management commitment is best communicated in a written policy,” it said, adding that the policy should:

  • Be developed by management and employee representatives, including the health and safety committee or representative, and union, if present.
  • Apply to management, employee's, clients, independent contractors and anyone who has a relationship with your company.
  • Define what you mean by workplace violence, harassment and bullying in precise, concrete language.
  • Provide clear examples of unacceptable behaviour and working conditions.
  • State in clear terms your organization's view toward workplace violence and harassment, and its commitment to prevention.

More guidelines around the policy is available here.