EDMONTON — The head of the Edmonton Police Association says he believes the man fatally shot by a police officer early Thursday morning was trying to get himself killed.
Kinling Robin Fire was shot in the parking lot near his apartment.
Family members have said Fire was depressed and had taken a bottle of sleeping pills before driving off in his car, but also said he did not have a weapon.
Police association president Tony Simioni says it’s his understanding Fire was brandishing a pipe and was behaving in a threatening manner toward officers.
He says it appears to be a case of what’s called “suicide by cop,” when a person is aggressive toward police in the hopes of being shot.
Simioni says police tried to take down Fire in another manner at first, by hitting him with a police cruiser in an attempt to knock him down.
But Simioni says that wasn’t successful and Fire kept charging toward the officer.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been called in to investigate, to see if the officer was justified in his actions. A spokesman said it does appear that Fire was brandishing something toward the officer.
“We have witnesses’ accounts that there was something in his hands,” said Roy Fitzpatrick, assistant director with ASIRT. “We have retrieved something that’s very similar to what was described.”
Simioni says the officer, who is in his 20s, has been on the job for three years. He says the officer in question did everything right that night.
“They did as they were trained to do,” says Simioni. “Because they thought their lives were in danger.”