Calgary police cleared of wounding man who wanted them to shoot him

A group that investigates shootings by police in Alberta has ruled a man wounded by an officer in May was suicidal and wanted to be shot.

CALGARY — A group that investigates shootings by police in Alberta has ruled a man wounded by an officer in May was suicidal and wanted to be shot.

Calgary police responded to a downtown apartment building after getting a 911 call about someone being held at knifepoint, Clifton Purvis, head of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, said Tuesday.

Four officers arrived to find a man with a 20-centimetre knife in the hallway. He refused to put down the weapon and approached officers despite orders to stop, Purvis said.

The man was shot once with a rifle as he came within about 1 1/2 metres of the officers, he said. The bullet went through his arm, into his abdomen and out through his back before becoming embedded in a door jamb at the end of the hallway.

Purvis said the man was rushed to hospital where he was treated and has co-operated with the investigation. It was later determined that he made the original emergency call.

“The investigation revealed that this individual at the time of approaching the members of the Calgary police service was suffering from a mental illness,” he said.

“It is believed at this time that his motivation in relation to this incident was suicide.”

The building where the man lived provides services to people who are mentally ill. While police would have known that, they wouldn’t have known that the man they found in the hallway was himself mentally ill, Purvis said.

No criminal charges will be laid against the officers.