April 30, 2019 12:36 pm
Updated: April 30, 2019 8:30 pm

ASIRT investigating after police shoot suspect in central Edmonton

WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton police opened fire on a suspect Tuesday morning and the man was taken to hospital. As Sarah Kraus reports, it all started with the hunt for a stolen vehicle.

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A shooting involving Edmonton police that resulted in a man being injured Tuesday morning is being investigated by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), a watchdog agency.

Edmonton police said officers responded around 7:15 a.m. to a report of a stolen vehicle being tracked by GPS near 106 Street and 107 Avenue.

At around 7:39 a.m., officers located the vehicle, which was stopped around 100 Street near 105 Avenue.

Police said officers pulled up behind the truck and confirmed it was the vehicle they had been looking for.

Another police vehicle arrived at the location, which Edmonton police said blocked the reportedly stolen vehicle from the front.

The scene of a police shooting near 100 Street and 105 Avenue in downtown Edmonton. April 30, 2019.

Sarah Kraus, Global News

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An unknown man in the passenger seat was directed to get out of the truck, but Edmonton police said he failed to follow that direction and instead moved to the driver’s seat.

Global News spoke to a witness who was on scene being questioned by ASIRT for a number of hours.

Mike O’Connell said police boxed the truck in and the driver put the truck in reverse, despite police reportedly warning the suspect not to start the vehicle again after police had it boxed in.

“The officer got out and saw the guy starting the truck. He said: ‘Stop, don’t,’” O’Connell said. “He put it in reverse and started pushing the police vehicle in behind it.”

The police officer then turned his vehicle so the truck couldn’t move it anymore. That’s when O’Connell said he saw the driver start to ram police cars both in front of and behind the truck.

Police confirm a confrontation occurred, during which the stolen truck was put in motion and officers fired their guns.

READ MORE: Edmonton police chief concerned about ‘upswing’ of crime involving meth

O’Connell said it looked like the officer in the police vehicle that was rammed shot toward the suspect from the inside of his own squad car, blowing out the windshield.

Police reportedly fired a number of shots — O’Connell estimated more than 30 — before an officer approached the truck and “broke the window with the gun, pointed the gun at the guy and told him to unlock the door and get out,” O’Connell said.

Police confirm the man was struck and taken to hospital with unknown injuries. No Edmonton police officers were harmed during the shooting, police said.

O’Connell couldn’t see the suspect when he was pulled out of the vehicle and wasn’t sure where the man was shot or whether he was bleeding.

A one-block section of the street was cordoned off by police tape. Seven marked police cruisers were on scene and an unmarked police SUV and a white commercial flatbed truck were also seen parked bumper to bumper.

There appeared to be at least six bullet holes in the white truck, which also had a broken driver’s side window.

The scene of a police shooting near 100 Street and 105 Avenue in downtown Edmonton. April 30, 2019.

Sarah Kraus, Global News

The shooting happened beside the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB) maintenance yard. Global News reached out to the EPSB to see if the white truck was its property, but the board declined to comment.

Staff working at nearby pharmacy told Global News police were on scene when they arrived for work at 8 a.m.

Later in the morning, the Edmonton Police Service forensic unit arrived on scene.

Edmonton police said they would not be providing further comment, as ASIRT was investigating.

READ MORE: ASIRT investigating after officer-involved shooting in Lloydminster

– With files from Kirby Bourne, 630 CHED

 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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