ASIRT Seeks Public Assistance for Investigation into Police Shooting

On September 17, 2016, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed by the Director of Law Enforcement to investigate the circumstances surrounding an officer-involved shooting.

On September 17, 2016 at approximately 1:02 p.m., two Calgary Police Service (CPS) members were checking on three suspicious vehicles behind a Petro-Canada Gas Station in the parking lot of the Blackfoot Truck Stop at 1840 9 Ave SE. The three vehicles were described as being parked in a triangle and at least two individuals were outside of the vehicles. An officer approached the passenger side of one of the vehicles, a silver pick-up truck, and noted there were two occupants, a male driver and a younger female passenger.

The officer attempted to speak to the driver of that vehicle through an open window and noted what appeared to be a rifle by the front seat. The driver did not respond to the officer and looked straight ahead, ignoring his presence. The officer yelled commands not to start the vehicle and to keep his hands visible but the man started the truck, revved the engine and put the truck into reverse  before colliding with a black mini-van. The silver pick-up then drove forward in the direction of the officer. The officer then fired his service weapon.

The truck fled the parking lot and in the process struck several metal posts and a natural gas meter, severing a natural gas line. The truck continued on its path for approximately 40 meters, then struck a tree and stopped. The driver exited the silver truck and fled on foot with the second officer in foot pursuit. An off duty CPS officer observed the foot chase, stopped his vehicle and joined the pursuit. The second officer and the off duty officer caught up to man in a nearby cul de sac where the second officer used his conducted energy weapon (CEW), commonly referred to as a Taser, on the man and he was taken into custody.

No one was injured as a result of the officer’s discharge of the service weapon. The 23-year-old man was noted to have lacerations to his forearm and was taken to hospital for treatment. The injuries sustained were consistent with cuts from broken glass, and the silver truck was noted to have damage to its windows. The man was treated and released then remanded into custody on outstanding warrants and additional offences arising from this incident. The 15-year-old female passenger was also apprehended at the scene and returned to her legal guardian without any charges.

The ruptured natural gas line caused a severe leak which necessitated the evacuation of several blocks and road closures into the area, as the risk of fire and explosion was believed to be extremely high. Once the natural gas leak was properly managed, access to the area was reopened.

ASIRT is asking anyone who may have been in the area and observed this incident involving the discharge of the firearm to contact ASIRT investigators at 403-592-4306.

Any officer’s discharge of a firearm is considered a serious incident, whether injury is sustained or not, and, as such, it will be thoroughly investigated to determine whether the use of this level of force is lawful and justified in any given case. The investigation by ASIRT should not be interpreted to suggest that there has been an identified concern about the conduct of an officer. 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. ASIRT’s attention focuses on the conduct of the officer to determine, through evidence, whether the use of force in a case was lawful. As the investigation is underway, no further information will be released.

The Calgary Police Service will maintain responsibility for the investigation into offences that may have been committed by the man during this incident.