A 39-year-old man is dead after police shot him during an alleged armed hostage situation.
On Saturday, Rocky Mountain RCMP were called to a rural area about 10 kilometres west of Sunchild and O’Chiese First Nations, where there was reportedly an armed man with a hostage.
Rocky Mountain RCMP, Alberta RCMP Emergency Response Team and Police Dog Service searched the area for the man, who was believed to be from the Edmonton area.
While attempting to locate the suspect, the Edmonton Police Service advised RCMP the man is also a suspect in a suspicious death that recently occurred in the city.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team said the man was identified as a suspect in a carjacking on Friday in Parkland County, during which a GMC truck was stolen. During that investigation, police received information that led them to believe he may have been involved in a homicide.
In the early hours of Saturday, the man repeatedly contacted police and advised them he was in possession of a weapon and had a hostage.
The stolen truck was located at 7:43 a.m. A police service dog tracked the suspect to a nearby outbuilding at an oilfield battery site west of Rocky Mountain House.
”It was determined that the man police had been in communication with was inside one of the outbuildings on site; however, it remained unclear whether anyone else was inside. The man was believed to have been armed with a firearm,” said ASIRT.
Officers contained the scene while negotiators attempted to persuade the man to surrender peacefully.
“As these negotiations continued, at approximately 1:30 p.m., the man exited the outbuilding, initiating a confrontation with police,” said ASIRT.
“During the confrontation, one officer discharged a service weapon that fires less lethal rounds; other officers subsequently discharged service firearms. The man was struck, sustaining critical injuries, and fell to the ground. Emergency medical intervention was attempted, but the man died on scene.”
A 12-gauge pistol grip pump-action shotgun, as well as live and spent shotgun ammunition, were recovered on scene. The scene was subsequently cleared and it was determined that during the period of containment, the man had been alone in the outbuilding.
RCMP said in a press release Saturday it “believes in processes that seek the facts and it’s important that processes taken to assess the actions of all those involved, including the police, are fair, transparent and defendable.”
“This is why, as soon as we became aware of this incident, we immediately notified the Director of Law Enforcement and initiated our internal review process,” said RCMP.
“The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the actions of the police during this investigation.”
The events leading up to the eventual critical incident at the oilfield battery site, and any offences that may have been committed by the man, including the carjacking and possible homicide, remain under investigation by the police services of the relevant jurisdiction.
ASIRT’s investigation will focus on the events relating to the containment at the oilfield battery site and the uses of force that ultimately resulted in the death of the man.