An officer-involved shooting that resulted in a man being shot and wounded in downtown Red Deer last May has been ruled justified after an investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).
ASIRT, in a statement released on Friday, said that on May 1, 2016, at approximately 7 p.m., RCMP received a 911 call from a 28-year-old man who indicated he was armed with a loaded handgun and ammunition, wanted to end his life, and would shoot anyone who came to his door, at River Valley Apartments, 5017-49 St.
While officers immediately responded, another officer called the man on his cell phone and requested he peacefully exit his residence unarmed so he could get the help he needed. When officers arrived on scene, they entered the complex and proceeded to the relevant floor, stepping out into a vestibule.
One officer moved into the hallway and immediately saw a man holding a handgun. The man raised the handgun, pointing it towards the officer and the vestibule where the other officers were standing. The officer in the hallway immediately discharged his gun, striking the man, who then fell to the ground.
Once disarmed, the man was provided with emergency medical care. He was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries, a single gunshot wound to his left shoulder.
It was determined that the handgun the man possessed was in fact a Crossman revolver-style CO2 pellet gun, described as a realistic-looking replica handgun. It was not loaded at the time of the incident.
ASIRT Executive Director, Susan D. Hughson, Q.C., received the completed ASIRT investigation and confirmed that the officers involved were lawfully placed and in the lawful execution of their duties.
An officer is entitled to use lethal force where there are reasonable grounds to believe a person presents a risk of grievous bodily harm or death to the officer or another person.
“The physical evidence from the scene, the corresponding video, the statements of the witness officers, the subject officer, and the 28-year-old man, all lead to the inescapable conclusion that the officer faced a split-second decision to use lethal force or risk serious injury or death to himself and his fellow officers from what appeared to be a deadly threat. The use of force in this case was reasonable and justified.”