Suspect in St. Albert RCMP shooting dead; wounded officers identified
WATCH ABOVE: Two Mounties were injured in an early morning shooting at a St. Albert casino Saturday morning. After an intense manhunt, the suspect was found dead. Eric Szeto reports.
ST. ALBERT, Alta. — St. Albert RCMP have confirmed the suspect wanted in the shooting of two officers was found dead inside a home on a rural property on the east edge of St. Albert Saturday.
Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand said police tracked the man to the unoccupied house and contained the scene “for the purpose of arresting the suspect when it was deemed safe to do so.”
“The suspect’s body was found when officers entered the residence in their efforts to locate him,” Degrand added. “At no time during these efforts to arrest the suspect at that residence, did officers speak with the suspect or fire their weapons.”
Officials said it appeared as though the man forced his way into the empty home, setting off an alarm.
While they have tentatively identified the suspect, police said they will not be releasing his identity at this time.
The two members injured in the shooting have been identified as RCMP Constable David Wynn, 42, and Auxiliary Constable Derek Bond, 49.
Degrand said Wynn, who joined the RCMP in 2009, remained in grave condition Saturday evening.
The following picture of Const. David Wynn was posted to the St. Albert Gazette’s website in May 2011.
Bond, who has worked with the RCMP in a volunteer role since 2008, was taken to hospital in serious but stable condition. He was released from hospital Saturday night.
“We are very concerned for his survival,” Degrand said of Wynn.
The manhunt for the suspect began early Saturday morning, after two St. Albert RCMP members were shot during an altercation inside the Apex Casino in the city’s southeast. RCMP were initially called to a report of a stolen vehicle, around 3 a.m. Saturday.
Officers went inside the casino to search for the suspect when an altercation took place and Wynn and Bond were shot, Degrand said. The suspect then fled the scene.
“It is my understanding there were two shots fired in the casino, none by our members,” said Degrand.
Security video from inside the casino has been seized by the RCMP.
The suspect, who was considered armed and dangerous, was described as a white male between 25 and 35 years old. He was wearing a two-toned blue striped jacket and jeans.
Armed officers tracked the suspect to a rural property southeast of the Sturgeon Valley Golf and Country Club. RCMP said the stolen vehicle was located in a ditch in the area. Several roads in the area were blocked off by Mounties for several hours, but were reopened Saturday afternoon after the suspect was located.
Investigators also blocked access to the rural property in Sturgeon Heights where the man was found dead.
The suspect’s death is considered a “in-custody death,” Degrand said, because the police contained the scene where the man was eventually found dead. As a result, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team will take over the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.
While addressing the media Saturday afternoon, Degrand expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming show of support RCMP have received from people around the world.
“Our thoughts, of course, are with our injured officers and their loved ones,” said Degrand.
WATCH: RCMP update as of 3:30 p.m. and raw video from two scenes in St. Albert
Condolences pour in for wounded Mounties
Saturday morning, St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse extended his thoughts on behalf of the entire city council.
“Our prayers are with the two RCMP officers who were shot in the line of duty early this morning. The RCMP members and auxiliary officers protecting our community put their own safety at risk to ensure our own,” said Crouse.
“We condemn violence of any kind. Attacking those who protect our lives and property is an attack on all residents. We join all Albertans in extending our appreciation to all members for their ongoing service. I know they share our concern over the two injured officers and their well-being.”
Alberta Justice Minister Jonathan Denis also shared his thoughts with the victims and their families.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured officers and their families as they cope with this tragic event. This incident stands as yet another reminder to us all of the real and present dangers our police officers and peace officers face every single day as they work to keep our communities safe.”
Premier Jim Prentice issued the following statement Saturday.
“It is with shock and sadness that we learn of the serious injuries sustained by two officers in the line of duty as they served their home community of St. Albert early this morning. My thoughts are with their families as they pray for their husband, father and son. I know all Albertans stand in unity and gratitude alongside those impacted by the events earlier today as together we hope for the recovery of both officers. ”
Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney said the incident is a tragic reminder of the dangers faces by law enforcement members who work selflessly to keep our country safe.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Constable Wynn and Auxiliary Constable Bond and their families during this difficult time.”
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) January 17, 2015
Police are not searching for any other suspects.
St. Albert is a city of about 61,000 bordering Edmonton’s city limits to the northwest.
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