Officer cleared in shooting of man with machete

Man had already struck the officer with the knife several times

Officer cleared in shooting of man with machete

CALGARY — An investigative unit says a seriously injured police officer who shot a man coming at him with a machete in a Calgary mall probably saved himself with his actions.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says the use of lethal force was reasonable and necessary given that the man had already struck the officer with the knife several times.

The 24-year-old man was also seriously injured when he was hit by three shots the officer fired during the confrontation at a Sears store in Marlborough Mall last September.

He faces charges and his case remains before the courts.

Police had responded to a call about a fight in the parking lot of a light-rail transit station and saw a man run into the nearby mall.

The officer in question ran in after the man and tried to use a Taser, but it had no effect.

That’s when the man drew the large knife from his clothes, raised it, ran at the officer and repeatedly struck him.

The officer’s use of lethal force “was not only objectively and subjectively reasonable, given the other man’s unlawful use of the machete, it was reasonably necessary,” ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson wrote in a release Monday.

“Indeed, it is possible — if not likely — that the officer’s use of his sidearm saved his life. While the subject officer did cause serious injury to the man with the machete, his conduct did not and could not constitute a criminal offence.”

The officer was taken to hospital in serious but stable condition.

The suspect needed emergency surgery for life-threatening injuries.

A machete recovered at the scene had been recently purchased and was just over 43 centimetres long.

ASIRT investigates all police incidents involving serious injury or death.

The Canadian Press