September 10, 2017 1:40 am
Updated: September 11, 2017 5:40 pm

‘I’m sad for him’: Friends of man killed in Saturday’s Edmonton police shooting say he was troubled

WATCH ABOVE: Gunfire broke out in Westmount on Saturday night as police tried to arrest a man wanted on outstanding warrants. Now, family and friends have identified the man killed and they say he was troubled. Julia Wong reports. WARNING: Some people may find this video disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

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WARNING: Some people may find the video above disturbing.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has taken over an investigation into a police-involved shooting which occurred at Westmount Shopping Centre on Saturday night.

In a news release issued on Sunday, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) said at around 8:15 p.m., officers were trying to arrest a man wanted on outstanding warrants who was in a vehicle in the area of Groat Road and 113 Avenue N.W.

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They said the suspect tried to flee the scene and collided with a police vehicle as officers tried to box him in. According to police, a confrontation then occurred, with officers firing their guns. The 29-year-old suspect was shot and killed.

According to EPS, a firearm was discovered at the scene after the shooting occurred.

On Monday, ASIRT issued a news release which provided more details about what happened during the “high-risk arrest” attempt.

The police watchdog said after EPS officer boxed in the suspect, they yelled commands at him but he was “not compliant” and tried to escape with his vehicle. According to ASIRT, officers fired tear gas into the suspect vehicle which led to the confrontation and subsequent shooting.

The civilian oversight agency said the suspect was then taken out of the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Two 18-year-old women were also in the vehicle and were “apprehended.” ASIRT said they were not injured.

Edmonton Police on scene near Westmount Centre

Nathan Gross/Global News

Family and friends tell Global News that the man killed was named Matt Dumas.

Briage Lock knew Dumas for 11 years and said he was “troubled.”

“He used drugs and he was in a bad lifestyle,” she said, adding he used crystal meth.

“Unpredictable and very skinny and was just having a lot of bad company around him.”

Lock, who witnessed the police shooting from the McDonald’s but did not see the confrontation that led to it, said Dumas was struggling.

“I’m sad. I’m sad for his family. I’m sad for him.”

Shantel Freeman met Dumas in 2004 and calls him the “first love of her life.”

“He was a really good guy, family-oriented. He had goals,” she said. “He loved poetry, rap.”

But Freeman said Dumas had issues with meth.

“I found out he got into some addictions and it spiraled out of control,” she said.

“He was very loved by many people. He had children that loved him very much. He just went down a bad road and maybe it was hard for him to get out.”

Dumas was set to go to trial in Edmonton this October for possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property over $5,000, possession of property under $5,000 and two counts of possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.

In 2016, Dumas pleaded guilty to failing to appear in court and was given a $100 fine and 30 days in jail, according to court records.

In 2011, Dumas was sentenced to 28 months in jail and handed a 10-year firearm prohibition for possession for the purpose of trafficking.

View a photo gallery of Matt Dumas below:

Witnesses at the scene on Saturday told Global News the parking lot of the McDonald’s restaurant in the area was blocked off by police after the incident.

“I work right across the street at Shoppers Drug Mart and I was on my break outside and heard what I thought was someone’s tire blowing up and immediately turned and heard shouting,” Mary MacCormac told Global News. “(I) immediately clued in that this was gunfire.”

“It was very very distressing. I just wanted to stay away. I ran back inside.”

Watch below: One day after Edmonton police were involved in an officer-involved shooting in a Westmount parking lot that left a man dead, a woman who works in the area submitted video to Global News in which gunshots can be heard in the parking lot. Police said they were trying to arrest the man when they say he tried to flee in a vehicle and collided with a police vehicle before a confrontation ensued and shots were fired.

WARNING: Some people may find the video below disturbing.

Police said no officers were injured in the incident.

ASIRT investigates incidents involving Alberta law enforcement officers that result in injury or death as well as “serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.”

-With files from Kim Smith and Phil Heidenreich.

 

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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