RCMP justified in shooting driver of rampaging front end loader

Alberta Serious Incident Response Team releases report on Christmas Day 2015 incident in Red Deer.

Red Deer RCMP used “necessary and reasonable force” in shooting the driver of a rampaging front end loader on Christmas Day 2015, says a probe of the incident.

Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) released its findings on Monday morning of the incident in the early afternoon of Christmas Day that saw a 37-year-old man shot and killed by police.

The man was fatally shot by police attempting to make an arrest just after 1 p.m. on Dec. 25 at Edgar Industrial Park.

Red Deer RCMP had followed the vehicle from the industrial area into a field north of Red Deer. ASIRT said during the pursuit, the front-end loader collided with a police vehicle and pinned it to a tree.

The loader’s driver tried to use the bucket to crush the roof of the police car. It only failed when the bucket got snagged in a tree.

Those actions “placed that officer in imminent risk of grievous bodily harm or death and only the split-second decision to use lethal force prevented that from happening,” says ASIRT.

“The force used was necessary and reasonable in all the circumstances notwithstanding the tragic outcome.”

An officer arriving on scene fired shots at the loader driver. The officer in the pinned vehicle managed to get out and also fired at the suspect in the loader’s cab.

Other officers who had followed the front-end loader were able to get close enough to see the man slumped over in the seat, no longer in control of the front-end loader.

The front-end loader went into a field and did two circles in a nearby field before straightening out and hitting trees and getting stuck.

Officers climbed into the loader and turned it off. The man was bleeding and unresponsive. Emergency Medical Services were called in, but the man had died at the scene.

An autopsy determined the suspect died from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso. Methamphetamine and amphetamine, a metabolite of meth, was found in his blood.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

 

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