The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has cleared three RCMP officers of any wrongdoing in the shooting of a suspect in a knife attack last summer that left two people dead.
The incident happened in the early morning hours of June 30, 2015 at Berland Open Camp, a work camp southwest of Fox Creek, which is 263 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
“It was reported that a 28-year-old man, armed with a large butcher knife, had injured two people who were believed to be deceased and was presenting a continuing risk to individuals in the camp,” ASIRT said in a Monday statement. “There was also information received that the man had set, or had attempted to set, the camp on fire.”
ASIRT said two Fox Creek RCMP officers arrived at the camp at about 1:15 a.m. and saw the suspect with knife in hand. ASIRT said officers repeatedly asked him to drop the knife and stop moving, but he lunged at them from about 1.5 metres away.
“Both officers fired at the man, who was shot and fell to the ground, not moving,” ASIRT said.
A third RCMP officer arrived and secured the suspect’s body as the two other officers approached to take the knife and check his condition, ASIRT said. The suspect didn’t respond to requests to drop the knife and allegedly lunged at one of the officers a second time when RCMP tried to secure the knife. Officers then fired again.
Watch below: Two people are dead and the suspected killer in hospital after a work camp attack in northern Alberta. Fletcher Kent has more June 30, 2015.
Twelve rounds were fired by the first two officers during both confrontations with the suspect, along with another shot from the third officer during the second lunging incident. After he fell to the ground, he was dragged away from the knife and put in handcuffs, ASIRT said.
“The man was transported to hospital where he underwent surgery,” ASIRT said. “His injuries were determined to be serious but not life-threatening.”
Daniel Goodridge, of Edmonton, was charged with first and second-degree murder, RCMP said at the time. He was also facing charges of interfering with human remains, two counts of assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon against a police officer.
Watch below: A 28-year-old Edmonton man is facing murder charges in the deaths of two people at an Alberta work camp. July 3, 2015.
ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson said the investigation showed “there are no reasonable grounds, or indeed reasonable suspicion, to believe that any of the officers committed an offence.”
“At the time police were dealing with the man, it was believed he had already killed two people. In those circumstances, at both points when the man lunged at officers with the knife, there were subjective and objective grounds to believe that the man presented a very high risk and that the use of lethal force was not only reasonable but necessary to prevent death or grievous bodily harm to themselves and/or others present.”
Hughson said in a statement ASIRT won’t comment further as to what happened before RCMP’s arrival as Goodridge is set to go to trial.
Goodridge’s trial is scheduled for May 15 to June 9, 2017 in Grande Prairie Queen’s Bench.
With files from Emily Mertz and Slav Kornik