EDMONTON – Global News has confirmed the man killed during a shootout with police in southwest Edmonton Sunday night was wanted in connection with a homicide.
Sources tell Global News that 24-year-old David Charles Sandaker was the person of interest who died Sunday following an exchange of gunfire with police.
Early May, the EPS identified Sandaker as a suspect in the shooting death of 38-year-old Michael Alan Hill, who was found dead inside an apartment suite in the area of 149 St. and 89 Ave. on April 26.
Sandaker was wanted on warrants for second-degree murder, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and two counts of breach of recognizance.
On Sunday, police said they were executing a search warrant in the area of 53 Avenue and 149 Street around 8:30 p.m. when they exchanged gunfire with a suspect.
“Members of the Edmonton Police Service tactical team were involved in the surveillance of a person of interest in an ongoing criminal investigation,” explained EPS Chief Rod Knecht.
“During the course of an arrest, several shots were exchanged between the person of interest and the tactical team. The person of interest was fatally injured at the scene,” he added.
EMS crews were called in, but the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
An autopsy on the deceased male is scheduled for Tuesday.
“A member of the tactical team was also shot, and subsequently transferred to hospital,” said Knecht. “The member suffered a single gunshot wound. While serious in nature, it is a non-life-threatening.”
Knecht described the officer as an experienced tactical member with eight years of service.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which investigates all officer-involved shootings, has been called in.
“The director of law enforcement was notified and the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is taking over the investigation immediately,” said Knecht.
“I’ve just returned from the hospital – I met with the member and his family. I can tell you that our member is undergoing a series of tests, and is coherent and is heavily sedated for pain.”
“The family is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.”
He said the EPS Family and Employee Assistance section has been contacted.
ASIRT and a forensics crew were at the scene early Monday morning.
“I would like to thank all our members who attended the scene and responded quickly and professionally.”
Knecht said the incident is shocking, but unfortunately, is something police officers do encounter.
“It’s not something you ever prepare for – you can try to prepare for it, but it’s just not possible. It’s the call you never want to get. I guess our member is doing well… that’s a good thing, but these are tragic circumstances for everybody, and a very difficult situation.”
“Just an arrest, you know, an arrest that we do everyday of the week – several times – and this is just one that went bad.”
On Friday, three RCMP officers were injured and a 55-year-old man killed in an officer-involved shooting in St. Paul.
“I don’t think it’s a trend,” said Knecht on Sunday night. “I think it’s happening all too frequently, I can tell you. Obviously we’ve had a situation in St.Paul in a rural area, and now in the city this evening. Different locations, different circumstances. But law enforcement is a dangerous profession. It’s difficult and you can never be too prepared for circumstances like these.”
“It is a family, and everybody pulls together. Everybody wants to know what’s going on, everybody is concerned and worried, not only the members, but their extended their family, their loved ones. You know, this is Mother’s Day, and I think it hits home close to home on Mother’s Day, and I think it’s a very difficult situation for everyone.”
“For the second time within a few days, a member of Alberta’s law enforcement team was seriously injured on the job,” said Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
“This serves as another stark reminder of the dangers our police and peace officers face daily.”
“While details are short at this time, I want to offer my prayers to the injured Edmonton Police Service officer and his family, friends and fellow officers, and to thank them all for the sacrifices they make.”
© Shaw Media, 2014