EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — A former armored car guard charged with fatally shooting three of his colleagues and wounding a fourth as they emptied a bank machine pleaded guilty to murder Monday.
Travis Baumgartner, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
The G4S Cash Solutions crew was re-loading bank machines at a University of Alberta mall in June 2012 when, according to a statement of facts entered in court, Baumgartner shot his colleagues in the head as they stood with their backs to him. He then returned to the waiting armored truck and shot a fourth co-worker.
Three colleagues were killed, and the fourth survived a bullet to the head.
Baumgartner was arrested near a U.S. border crossing. Police said they found $334,000 in a backpack he had with him. He had been on the job for three months.
The court was told Baumgartner had joked with a friend about robbing his employer and had sent a text that said: "This is the night." The court also heard that Baumgartner owed friends money, had just bought a new truck and had argued with his mother about rent before his last shift.
Search warrants revealed that his mother told officers she woke up the morning of the shooting to find $64,000 in cash in her home.
After his arrest, Baumgartner initially told police he had been kidnapped after the robbery and forced to drive to Seattle or his family would be killed.
G4S President Jean Taillon said last year that the company was reviewing how it screens its employees, though no policy changes have been made.
Before the heist, Baumgartner had posted quotes on his Facebook page from the character the Joker from the movie "Dark Knight," which included a violent bank heist. The profile picture on the Facebook page showed a person wearing sunglasses and a mask.
Two weeks before the shooting, the page also had a post that mused: "I wonder if I'd make the six o'clock news if I just starting popping people off.