Calgary police justified in shootout with suspect who killed himself in garage

CALGARY — A police watchdog has found that reasonable force was used during a shootout in Calgary that injured an officer before a suspected criminal killed himself.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says a 25-year-old man had been using methamphetamine before he robbed a gas station at gunpoint in March 2018.

ASIRT says he next attempted two carjackings and scared a young girl who was home alone when he banged on the door with a pipe.

Police tracked the suspect to a residential garage that was on fire and, when several shots came from the garage, three officers fired back.

One officer was seriously wounded when a bullet hit his arm and went through his chest.

The agency says sporadic gunfire came from the burning garage for an hour before officers found a man dead inside from a self-inflicted shot to the head.

ASIRT’s executive director, Sue Hughson, says the officers had no time to negotiate or de-escalate the situation before the shooting started. The man in the garage presented a risk to officers and others in the area, she says.

“This risk was not merely theoretical: the man shot one officer, causing grievous bodily harm, and endangered the lives of numerous other officers,” she told a news conference Wednesday.

“While the shots fired by the officers in response to the man’s actions ultimately did not cause his death, those officers were justified in using any force necessary.”

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