RCMP have had to notify the family of a thirty-three year old Lloydminster man of his death as police conducted a search in Waseca. One officer has also been injured in the incident and RCMP have called on the Saskatoon Police Service to conduct the independent, external investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death.
At about 11:45 p.m. Saturday February 26th officers executed a search warrant at a commercial property in Waseca. RCMP say that since last October the Battlefords RCMP Gang Task Force have been investigating drug and weapons trafficking in west-central Saskatchewan. Their investigation had determined that cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and firearms were being trafficked in and around North Battleford.
Officers say there was a significant risk to public and police safety and the Saskatchewan RCMP Critical Incident Response Team was called in to assist with the search warrant.
Officers determined that there were four people inside the building and after negotiation, they say they used non-lethal methods which resulted in two men and one woman exiting the building and being taken into custody.
Police say the fourth person remained in the building and did not comply with their instructions. Then investigators say the man came out of the building but was still not compliant and displayed a firearm. They say gunfire was exchanged and the man was fatally injured.
Officers indicate that the RCMP officer who was injured in this incident is in hospital with a non life-threatening injury. No further information will be provided about the officer’s condition.
Saskatchewan RCMP say they are giving the Saskatoon Police Service their full cooperation to conduct an independent investigation as stipulated by the RCMP Act and with that investigation ongoing, no further information can be provided at this time.
RCMP advise that there will be an increased police presence in Waseca.
The investigation into drug and weapons trafficking in and around North Battleford continues and updates will be provided as they become available, according to RCMP.