‘Necessary’ for Edmonton officers to shoot armed suspect in 2017: watchdog

EDMONTON — Alberta’s police watchdog says three Edmonton officers used “necessary” force in the fatal shooting of an armed suspect in 2017.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says the 30-year-old man was suspected of methamphetamine trafficking and investigators had developed a plan to arrest him.

Police tactical vehicles boxed in the suspect’s white Mercedes in a mall parking lot and officers believed he was armed.

The man initially followed police instructions then rammed police vehicles in front of and behind the Mercedes, after which officers deployed tear gas.

When the suspect retrieved a handgun from a black bag, one officer yelled “don’t do it!” and another shot a non-penetrating projectile at him.

When the man raised his handgun and pointed it directly toward an officer, that officer and two others fired their guns.

ASIRT says the evidence is unequivocal that the suspect fired two rounds from his handgun from inside the Mercedes.

“As it appeared that the man again pointed his handgun at an officer, one of the officers fired what would be a lethal shot. Following this shot, the man was observed to slump over in the vehicle,” ASIRT said in a release Monday.

The suspect died at the scene.

Two 18-year-old women who were in the Mercedes were uninjured.

A black nine-millimetre handgun was recovered from the front floor of the Mercedes.

A toxicology examination found the man had methamphetamine in his system. Police also found a large amount of the drug, a scale and second firearm magazine in the black bag.

“In these circumstances, the use of lethal force was not only reasonable but necessary,” ASIRT said.

“There being no reasonable grounds to believe that an offence was committed by a police officer, no charges will be laid.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Jan. 27, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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