WARNING: Some of the details/video in this story may be disturbing to readers. Discretion is advised.
The man fatally shot by an Edmonton police officer Thursday afternoon has been identified as 55-year-old Vitaly Savin.
Savin’s Facebook page has since been memorialized.
Police were called to the Hodgson neighbourhood at around 1:45 p.m. Thursday after two separate 911 calls reporting a possibly impaired driver.
A six-year veteran of the Edmonton Police Service pulled over the vehicle near Hollands Landing, where the officer and the driver being pulled over got out of their vehicles.
Deputy Chief Kevin Brezinski said Thursday an “encounter” occurred which led to the officer shooting the driver. The officer and others performed CPR until EMS arrived, however, the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team said Friday a large hunting knife was found near the victim.
Aman Jaggi, who lives in the area and was home at the time, caught much of the encounter on video. He was getting ready for work at around 1:45 p.m. Thursday when he heard muttering outside his bedroom window.
“I didn’t think much of it at all and then, out of nowhere, I just heard four gunshots go off. I looked outside my window and I saw a cop over a body. I quickly put my clothes on and I just ran outside,” Jaggi told Global News on Friday.
“I asked him if he needed any help and he said he didn’t,” Jaggi said. “He had just asked me to stick around to be a witness.
“He said that he was following an impaired driver for quite some time and that he pulled the driver over and the driver came outside of the vehicle with a hunting knife and… tried to attack the cop. The cop, I guess he was moving back and he slipped on ice and had to take out his firearm and shoot the gentleman,” Jaggi said.
Jaggi said he saw one wound on the side of the man’s body and his face and neck were covered in blood. Jaggi said the officer called for help immediately and started chest compressions and CPR.
He said the officer appeared to be shaken up.
“He was like: ‘I really didn’t want to do this in my career.'”
Watch below: A large hunting knife was found at the scene where a 55-year-old man was shot by police Thursday. Shallima Maharaj spoke to a witness. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT.
An autopsy was scheduled for Friday; results have not yet been released.
ASIRT has taken over the investigation and said it will focus on “the circumstances surrounding the confrontation that resulted in the discharging of the officer’s police weapon.”
As per EPS policy, the officer has been placed on administrative leave and will receive support, Brezinski said.
With files from Emily Mertz, Global News.
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