The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has determined Lloydminster RCMP officers used reasonable force in an arrest that saw the suspect get shot.
The ASIRT report stems from an incident on April 29th, 2019. On that day, according to the document, officers saw a 33-year old man driving a stolen Dodge Ram 2500 truck that had been taken from a local vehicle repair shop. Video footage from the repair shop confirmed that the man had stolen it, and officers also determined that the man was still under investigation in relation to a homicide that had occurred on April 27, 2019.
Two officers did attempt to stop the truck, but it took off. They chose not to chase it, as it was known that the truck had engine problems and it would not be able to be on the road much longer. Later, the officers came upon the truck again in an industrial area with smoke emanating, leading them to believe that the vehicle’s engine had failed.
The officers blocked the truck’s path with their cars, leading the driver to stop and try to flee on foot. After a foot chase, the suspect lost his footing and fell to the ground. The officer drew his conducted energy weapon and told the man to stay down. The suspect didn’t, and at that time, the report states, officers saw a gun in his right hand.
While turning the corner of a building, the suspect allegedly pointed the gun in their direction, prompting an officer to take the first shot. The second shot was taken as the man ducked for cover behind a parked car. After officers once again called for the suspect to drop the gun, the man stood back up and aimed, during which the officer fired another shot, which hit the suspect in the left shoulder.
The man fell to the ground, at that point still holding the gun. After repeated commands to do so by officers, he did eventually push the gun away. After putting the suspect in handcuffs, officers provided medical aid for the puncturing bullet wound before the suspect was taken by EMS to the hospital.
Physical and video evidence confirms, ASIRT notes, that five shots were fired during the incident by the first police officer, with approximately 22 seconds elapsing between the first shot and the final shot. Witness reports along with this video also corroborated the officer’s account of events.
The suspect said that he did not have any intention of hurting officers, but several pieces of evidence, ASIRT explains, determine the officers acted reasonably.
These include the loaded semi-automatic .22-calibre handgun recovered from the incident scene, that the officers were clearly uniformed and on duty, the suspect repeatedly refusing to follow verbal commands and maintaining possession of the firearm until after the officer’s final shot.
Also, the fact that the suspect was subject to a lawful arrest for the stolen truck combined with officers knowing he was a suspect in connection with a firearms murder in the days prior added to the call that the officer’s actions were justified under Section 25 of the Criminal Code.
While the man sustained an injury during the arrest, ASIRT says, his actions gave the officer reasonable cause to believe that his life was endangered; therefore, the force that he used to address that danger was also reasonable.
Accordingly, there are no grounds to believe that an offence was committed by any police officer, and no charges will be laid.