ASIRT investigates Calgary Police Service officer-involved shooting

On Sept. 29, 2017, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate circumstances surrounding an officer-involved shooting involving a 23-year-old man.

On the same day shortly after 8 p.m., Calgary Police Service (CPS) responded to several 911 calls from a 7-Eleven convenience store located in the 4600 block of 37 Street S.W. reporting a man acting erratically, and in possession of what was believed to be a steak knife.

CPS officers arrived and after containing the building, entered the store. The man was seen talking on the phone, holding the knife in his right hand. He walked to the back of the store and went into the Canada Post storage room. Officers communicated with the man requesting he drop the knife and come out. The man exited the room more than once, still carrying the knife. Several attempts to immobilize and disarm the man were unsuccessful. As time passed, officers began to notice smoke coming from the storage room, intensifying as time went on. Ultimately, the final time the man exited the storage room, an officer used a conducted energy weapon (CEW) commonly referred to as a Taser, which failed to contain and disarm the man. An officer then discharged his police service weapon. Wounded, the man fell to the ground but began stabbing and cutting himself with the knife, causing injuries. An officer again used a CEW which was successful in immobilizing the man. It did not, however, succeed in disarming the man. With the man still in possession of the knife, a police service dog was released, and upon the dog making contact with the man, he was pulled away from the storage room. The officers were then able to remove the knife and handcuff him. Throughout this period of time, the fire continued to burn, filling the store with smoke.

Police provided emergency medical care and upon the arrival of Emergency Medical Services, the man was treated and transported to hospital. The man was treated for the injuries sustained during the incident, including superficial self-inflicted knife wounds, and also for smoke inhalation. He currently remains in hospital, in stable condition.

ASIRT is seeking the public’s assistance regarding this incident. Anyone who has witnessed the event, or has cell phone photographs or video footage, is asked to call ASIRT at (403) 592-4306.

In any complex ASIRT investigation where multiple uses of force are applied, it is important to examine the entire circumstance of the incident and not focus on the single uses of force out of context. Any officer who may have used force that resulted in injury may be designated as subject officers in order to clearly communicate their status as it relates to their rights, responsibilities, and potential jeopardy for injuries sustained to the individual involved.

In this incident, one officer discharged a firearm, and a canine handler deployed his police service dog, both events resulting in injury to the man involved. As a result, two officers were designated as subject officers, as required by the Police Act. The use of the Taser did not appear to have contributed to the injuries sustained, so those officers were not designated as subject officers.

As the investigation is well underway, no further details will be released at this time.

ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently, and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.