Global News has identified Terrence Weinmeyer as the man who died after Calgary’s latest officer-involved shooting, amid an increase in such incidents that has Alberta’s police watchdog working “at capacity.”
Sources say Weinmeyer had a long history with police and was recently charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000. He was released on bail Nov. 8 on $200 cash.
WATCH BELOW: A witness provided Global News with this video, believed to show the final moments before Terrence Weinmeyer’s altercation with Calgary police in a Montgomery parking lot, which resulted in his death.
“We went to pull in the parkade and we witnessed two cops shooting and the smoke was up in the air,” she told Global News on Wednesday.
“Even my son said, ‘mommy, this is the first time I’ve seen a policeman shoot a bad guy’ … And then we pulled in and ran in our shop. Scary.”
Nixon owns the Loonie Plus store and said there are often lots of people in the area.
WATCH BELOW: Store owners in the Montgomery strip mall describe the deadly police shooting that took place Tuesday as “traumatizing. The couple was pulling into the parking lot with their five-year-old son moments before a man was shot and killed. Kim Smith brings us their story.
“There’s so many people that are just walking by, going to the bank…everyone’s always floating around here, so it’s scary to know that shots were just kind of fired.”
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating what led to the shooting and as in many investigations, has asked the Calgary Police Service (CPS) to “withhold specific details” of the shooting until its investigators can speak to witnesses.
“In any investigation, you want to obtain the best evidence,” ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson said Wednesday afternoon. “With witnesses, you want to interview and secure their evidence while the incident is still fresh in their mind and before their recollections might be influenced or tainted by information received by other sources or information that may have been shared publicly.”
The altercation happened in the Bowmont shopping mall parking lot at the corner of 16 Avenue and Home Road N.W. on Tuesday.
Witness Stephen Gibson said Tuesday a blue pickup truck came into the parking lot at a high rate of speed and cut off a civilian vehicle before police arrived and fired shots.
Global News confirmed the truck involved had been stolen, with a British Columbia licence plate.
ASIRT said Wednesday the man driving the truck parked and got out, going into a nearby business. When CPS officers tried to box in the truck, the man left the business and got back in the stolen truck.
“The man put the stolen vehicle into motion, ramming police vehicles,” Hughson said. “During their attempts to contain the man and the vehicle, two police officers fired their service weapons.
“The man sustained injuries and was removed from the truck by officers who immediately provided emergency medical attention until EMS arrived on scene.”
Hughson said despite best efforts, he succumbed to his injuries in hospital.
“An uninjured female passenger from the vehicle was also taken into custody,” she said, declining to provide further specifics of the investigation.
Watch below: Executive director of ASIRT Susan Hughson updates the investigation into an officer-involved shooting on Tuesday in Montgomery.
ASIRT is asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call them at 403-592-4306.
Police-involved shootings in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver
The incident is the ninth officer-involved shooting in Calgary in 2016, compared to three last year. Four of this year’s shootings were fatal, two caused injuries and three didn’t hit anyone.
This year in Edmonton, which has a similar population, there has been just one police shooting. No one was hit.
In Metro Vancouver, which has almost twice the population of Calgary, there have been two police shootings — one fatal, one causing injury.
Watch below: Global’s Mia Sosiak compares Calgary police-involved incidents to those in Edmonton and Vancouver.
A U.S. expert on police use-of-force said when comparing police shootings by city, it’s most important to consider their crime rates.
“There might be a change in the amount of violent crime; there could be a change in the nature of the violent crime,” University of South Florida in Tampa criminologist Lorie Fridell said. “For instance, greater accessibility to guns or maybe changes in the use of drugs.”
Fridell trains officers in fair and impartial policing.
Global News looked at the most recent crime statistics for each of the three western Canadian cities.
According to Statistics Canada Crime Severity Index (CSI) data for 2015, Calgary saw a 29 per cent increase in severity of police-reported crime. They were mostly break and enters, theft and stolen vehicles.
The CSI increase in Edmonton was lower than in Calgary, at 16 per cent. The increase for Metro Vancouver in 2015 was one per cent.
Watch below: Executive director of ASIRT Susan Hughson explains that the team is working at capacity after this year’s increase in police officer-involved incidents.
Hughson admitted there’s a “changing environment” as the number of officer-involved shootings requiring investigation by ASIRT has increased.
She said her team is working harder and evidence collection hasn’t been compromised, but said there’s been a delay in the writing and reviewing of reports.
How drugs can factor into police-involved incidents
On Tuesday night, CPS held a press conference and said crime like vehicle theft gives rise to serious safety concerns, acknowledging the rising number of officer-involved shootings and suggesting a link to drugs.
“In what seems to be like a nightly occurrence, the high frequency of crime … such as stolen vehicles, give rise to serious officer and public safety concerns,” CPS Acting Deputy Chief James Hardy said. “The common feature of these events is offenders who seem to have no regard for life or property.
Watch below: Police on the frontlines say the increase in crime in Calgary is fuelled by drugs, in particular fentanyl. As Jill Croteau reports, recovering addicts of the drug say they’re so influenced by it, they will do the unthinkable to get their fix.
With files from Global’s Nancy Hixt, Mia Sosiak and Phil Heidenreich