No charges against officers who shot man wielding axe
CALGARY — There will be no charges against two police officers who shot and killed a man who was coming towards one of them with an axe.
The head of a unit that investigates shootings involving police says officers were responding to a 911 call in Calgary’s northwest on Oct. 20, 2011, when they were met at the door by a man, who charged at one of them while carrying a large axe.
“Both police officers fired their police pistols. The 32-year-old was struck numerous times and died as a result of the injuries he received,” said Clif Purvis, executive director of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team.
One of them fired five shots and the other one.
Purvis said one of the officers fell back and hit his head on a rock while the suspect advanced. The constable received minor injuries.
“From the time the police officers arrived on scene until the report of shots fired by police officers only 65 seconds had elapsed. All six shots were fired in a period of 1.8 seconds and that tells you this incident developed and was over very quickly.”
ASIRT’s investigation included interviews with the man’s family members, who were at the scene when he was shot. The individual had mental health issues and had stopped taking prescribed medication.
“I’ve determined no criminal charges will flow as a result of the conduct of the two police officers involved in this incident. Their actions were justified and they were acting lawfully,” said Purvis.
He expressed his sympathy to the victim’s family.
“This decision doesn’t diminish the tragedy of this event and the impact it will have on the friends and family of the deceased.”
Purvis said the investigation was unable to determine a motive for the attack.