Regina Police say a 25-year-old man is facing murder charges in relation to three separate homicides.
Dillon Ricky Whitehawk has been charged with first-degree murder along with 20-year-old Kurtis Clayton Thomas in the January 5 homicide of 29-year-old Keesha Bitternose.
Three people have now been charged in relation to Bitternose’s death.
Whitehawk was then charged with first-degree murder in relation to the homicide of 27-year-old Jordan Denton in November of 2019.
Finally, in a third news release, Regina Police say Whitehawk has been charged with first degree murder in the December homicide of 23-year-old Keenan Toto.
During a news conference on Thursday afternoon at the Regina Police Service headquarters, Superintendent Cory Zaharuk provided more details on the homicides and suspects involved in these incidents.
Zaharuk mentioned that both Toto and Denton were killed in drive-by shootings, calling the acts “opportunistic, planned and deliberate.” No information was provided on how Bitternose was killed.
He confirmed that the suspects have a connection to gangs.
“The three individuals charged are associated to or are members, but I can’t say if the murders directly relate to gang involvement,” stated Zaharuk.
Zaharuk rejected mentioning the name of the street gang, suggesting that he didn’t want to further any potential conflict by doing so. Afterwards, he shared that he knows one of the homicides relate to gang involvement, while he’s uncertain about the other two.
When asked if Whitehawk should be labelled as a serial killer, Zaharuk admitted he doesn’t want to use that term because it’s important to remember the victims the victims at this time.
“We may get there where we will use that term,” explained Zaharuk. “It’s a sensational term, and it very well may be an accurate term. But I don’t want it to overshadow the people who have lost their lives here.”
Whitehawk was arrested on September 19, 2019 during a traffic stop. Police found he was in possession of unauthorized firearms and other weapons. After he failed to appear in court on October 31, RPS issued a warrant for his arrest.
On December 2, a member of the RPS canine unit recognized Whitehawk after he missed his court date and arrested him. Whitehawk was held in custody but was released with numerous conditions, restricting him from living in Regina or attending the city.
It wasn’t until January 4 that Whitehawk was arrested at a convenience store after police learned he was in the city. He was charged with resisting arrest and possession of a concealed weapon among multiple charges, however Zaharuk isn’t sure if police knew he was involved in the murders of 3 individuals at that time.
Investigations into those cases resulted in murder charges while Whitehawk was in custody at the Provincial Correctional Centre.
Zaharuk said these suspects wouldn’t be in custody without the tireless work from officers at the Regina Police Service and co-operation with citizens in North Central.
“I am overwhelmed at the number of officers that pitched in, have gone door-to-door and have asked everyone they could as to what they may know about these incidents,” explained Zaharuk.
(With files from Moises Canales)