May 19, 2015 12:43 am
Updated: May 19, 2015 9:35 pm

Suspect killed in Edmonton police shooting had sawed-off shotgun

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EDMONTON — One person was killed and a police officer hospitalized with a gunshot wound after a shooting during a traffic stop in northeast Edmonton Monday night.

The Edmonton Police Service said it happened around 9:30 p.m. near 118 Avenue and Abbottsfield Road, after two officers pulled over a vehicle on an impaired driving call.

The 31-year-old driver became involved in an altercation with the police, during which time he had a sawed-off shotgun with him.

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An eight-year EPS member was shot in the lower body, suffering serious but non life-threatening injuries.  ASIRT said Tuesday he remains in hospital, but is expected to make a full recovery.

The 31-year-old man was shot dead.

Other police officers on scene took the injured police officer to the hospital. EMS arrived at the scene and confirmed the man was dead. An autopsy is scheduled for May 20.

EPS Chief Rod Knecht held a news conference at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, pointing out the dangers officers face each day.

“One of the most dangerous things police officers do is stop cars,” said Knecht, adding, “the public probably doesn’t appreciate that because they think, ‘Well, I’m just getting a ticket or whatever else,’ but it’s really an unknown for us when we stop a car, such as this type of situation.

“You stop a car, you don’t know who is in the vehicle, or what they have been doing, or what they’re planning on doing. So this is just a simple traffic stop that turns into something,” said Knecht.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is leading the investigation. Knecht thought they would take over the scene sometime Tuesday morning or early afternoon.

“The officers will be separated, any witnesses will be separated,” said Knecht. “ASIRT will then come in and will independently interview each of those individuals. They’ll take over the scene and they’ll seize any evidence at that time. Our members will then step back and provide assistance at that point.”

Just before 10:30 p.m., ASIRT tweeted it was investigating the incident.

The officers involved are eight and 10-year members of the force.

“They’d be young guys. When I say ‘young guys’ I mean younger than me,” Knecht quipped. “So they’re around 40 years old. I think both of them are around 40, give or take.”

A Northeast division EPS officer tweeted that the shooting was one of several across the country on Monday.

Dozens of police vehicles block of the intersection at Abbottsfield Road and 118th Avenue after a police-involved shooting on Monday night.

Leslie Knight / Global News

© 2015 Shaw Media

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