Family of man shot by police reveals details of tragic sequence of events
The family of the man shot and killed by Calgary police in a northeast hotel room a week ago is revealing what police told them about the sequence of events that led to his death.
Anthony Heffernan was a journeyman electrician from a family of five kids, described by family members as funny and energetic.
His parents are now preparing to bury their youngest child, after supporting him through his battle with drug addiction.
Heffernan was shot by a Calgary police officer on the afternoon of March 16 at the Super 8 hotel on Barlow Trail, after police forcibly entered his room.
His family has now released details of information they say was given to them by investigators.
“Five police officers broke down the door and entered the room. Anthony stood up and raised both hands above his head,” said Heffernan’s sister Natalie Iaquinta.
“In one hand he held a small lighter and in the other a small syringe. The police instructed him to drop the items.”
Police have said they were confronted with a “high risk situation”, and that they were unable to subdue Heffernan with a Taser. Police told the family an officer then fired five shots at Heffeman and that he was struck three times in the head and once in the chest. A fifth bullet went through a window.
The family is questioning why they didn’t find out about Heffernan’s death for more than 11 hours.
“I do have regret on that,” said Calgary Police Chief Paul Cook. “We probably should have notified that family earlier.”
While the family thanks the police chief for his acknowledgement, they have more questions.
“I think the most concerning circumstance of the many is that my brother was in need of medical attention, and they decided to end his life,” said Iaquinta.
Heffernan’s sister also said their hearts and prayers go out to the family of the 30-year-old man who was shot by police in a downtown alley on Saturday morning.