St. Paul shoot-out latest incident to place officers in the line of fire
WATCH ABOVE: A frightening shoot-out involving Alberta Mounties in St. Paul Friday evening is bringing back memories of a number of other officer-involved shootings in the province.
EDMONTON – A frightening shoot-out involving Alberta Mounties in St. Paul Friday evening is bringing back memories of a number of other officer-involved shootings in the province.
The incident in St. Paul left two men dead and three RCMP officers injured. Two of the officers were treated for their injuries and released, but one remains in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
On Sunday evening, an Edmonton police officer was injured when shots were exchanged with a suspect. The suspect was killed.
“In the last five to 10 [years], the amount of weapons on the street, the amount of resistance that we see as police officers to comply with police in any situation, but particularly arrests, has increased,” said Sgt. Tony Simioni, president of the Edmonton Police Association.
“The amount of gun incidents, the amount of people who are willing to shoot or use vehicles towards officers as they try to escape, has markedly increased, and that’s a concern,” he said on Monday.
Watch: Two police shootings in just over two days have some Albertans worried about officer safety. Fletcher Kent reports on how the job is changing.
“It’s just a societal trend that I wish wasn’t happening, but obviously is happening. If you look at the incident in St. Paul, if you take a look across the country in the last year or two, there seems to be a much greater tendency for suspects and people who are running from the law to use whatever manners – including desperate ones like shooting – to get away from police.”
St. Paul, a town of about 5,800, is roughly 300 kilometres east of Mayerthorpe, where four Alberta Mounties were killed in March 2005.
The lives of Constables Brock Myrol, Leo Johnston, Peter Schiemann and Anthony Gordon were tragically cut short when James Roszko opened fire on them moments after they walked into a hut on his property near Mayerthorpe. Roszko then turned the gun on himself.
The officers were at Roszko’s property to investigate a marijuana grow operation and a chop shop of stolen vehicle parts.
Dennis Cheeseman and his brother-in-law, Shawn Hennessey, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for giving James Roszko a rifle and a ride the night before Roszko ambushed the RCMP officers.
READ MORE: Mayerthorpe marks sombre anniversary
In February 2012, two constables were injured in a standoff on a farm near Killam, Alberta, which is about 160 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.
RCMP said at the time that four officers had gone to execute a search warrant on the farm. Two of the officers walked into a house on the property and shots were fired.
Constables Sheldon Shah and Sid Gaudette were struck, but made it back outside. They later underwent surgery and survived.
Officers later found Robison’s uncle, Bradford Clarke, dead in the home and no one else inside.
Sawyer Robison was originally charged with the attempted murder of the two officers and second-degree murder in the death of his uncle. However, the murder charge was later dropped.
In January of this year, two Alberta RCMP officers were injured during a standoff in an area between Vegreville and Tofield.
One of the Mounties was shot in the arm. The other had to undergo surgery after being run over by a vehicle at the rural property.
The situation began when RCMP received a call about a man allegedly threatening to “kill an individual who lives in the Mundare area.”
An investigation led to two men and one woman being taken into custody.
While the events of Friday’s incident in St. Paul remain unclear, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been called in to investigate.
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