EDMONTON – RCMP provided an update Monday afternoon to the wave of violence that took over St. Paul Friday, in which two men were killed, and three Mounties were injured.
Deputy Commissioner Marianne Ryan, Alberta RCMP’s commanding officer described the three RCMP officers who were wounded in a shoot-out in the small community northeast of Edmonton as “dedicated and brave.”
“But I must tell you that I feel very fortunate that the outcome of our officers was not worse,” she added. “In this violent and dangerous situation, we were very, lucky.”
While the exact details of what led to the events are still unclear, it started when officers heard gunshots coming from outside the St. Paul RCMP detachment around supper time.
They went outside and saw a black pick-up truck leaving the parking lot and started to pursue the vehicle. Officers say the truck, which was allegedly speeding, purposely rammed a police vehicle.
The black pick-up then ended up colliding with an RCMP truck, pinning a female officer inside. The driver of the black pick-up truck then allegedly opened fire at the officers.
It all happened just down the street from where a local school was hosting a spring fling. The town’s sidewalks were also filled with parents and children.
Fifty-five-year-old John Quadros died during the gun battle. He managed a local health and wellness store. People in the community say he was married and a father. They describe him as a knowledgeable man, who was serious and quiet.
“Out of 15 years in the business in a small town, he was all about herbs and doing things the right way,” said Mayor Glenn Andersen. “I think we’re missing something in the picture. We don’t know what it is.”
All three officers were taken to hospital following the shoot-out; two have since been released. The female officer who was pinned in her truck had to undergo surgery and continues to recover from her injuries, most of which were to her legs and feet.
“She actually told me that when she was extricated from the vehicle, she felt like her toes were touching her shins,” Ryan said, adding that the officer is eager to get back to work.
Ryan believes it could’ve been even worse had the officer not been wearing a seatbelt, along with soft body armour. The fact that she was in a truck, and that the airbags deployed is also believed to have helped.
Ryan commended the officers for how they responded to the situation. She says RCMP officers are much better trained than they were even five years ago.
“The fact that we didn’t lose more people also speaks to that training and how they tactically responded and positioned themselves, I think they did quite well.
“Obviously officer safety, those are the things that keep me up at night.
“You can never predict where these things are going to happen, and when they’re going to happen. But we continually examine our training and our policies, and make sure they do all go home at night.”
Investigators are now looking for the person or people who were in a red Chevrolet Cavalier that was stopped near this incident.
RCMP believe the occupants of this vehicle have information that would be valuable to their investigation.
Rev. Gilbert Dasna, a Catholic priest in St. Paul, also died over Friday’s supper hour after reportedly being found injured in the front doorway of a rectory.
RCMP are awaiting Tuesday’s autopsy results to determine whether the two events are linked.
This was the first of two police shootings in Alberta within little more than 48 hours. The second incident left an Edmonton police officer injured, and the suspect dead.
© 2014 Shaw Media