A recent development in a criminal case shed light on the details of an attempted robbery that resulted in murder back in October 2019. The incident involved the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Ryan Gatzke in his home by members of the gang known as the “Terror Squad.”
The latest filing in the case, which was released to the public from April 2021, revealed that the gang members were allegedly tipped off by a casino worker about the presence of money in Gatzke’s home. Additionally, the youngest gang member, who was 17 at the time of the crime, agreed to be sentenced as an adult. Three other Terror Squad members had already been apprehended and sentenced for Gatzke’s murder.
Charles McLean, the gang’s getaway driver, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to four years in prison in March 2022. Isaac Melco, another gang member, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received a 12-year prison sentence in February 2023. Jacob Ballantyne, the third gang member involved, also pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years in prison in June.
According to the April 2021 filing, the gang members were informed about Gatzke’s money and drugs by a casino staff member the victim had encountered on the night of the incident. Prior to the robbery, the Terror Squad members received approval from senior members of the gang.
The incident took place on October 18, 2019, after Gatzke and his wife visited a casino in North Battleford and won some money. Later that night, their home was invaded by Melco, Ballantyne, and the third gang member, who were heavily intoxicated and wearing masks. The youngest member held a shotgun, Ballantyne had a 9mm handgun, and Melco carried an SKS rifle. During an altercation, three shots were fired, fatally injuring Gatzke.
The release of the details of the case has provided further insight into the tragic events of that night and the subsequent legal proceedings against the individuals involved.