Suspect was Tasered before dying in police custody after ‘targeted’ Calgary hit and run: CPS
Calgary police said a man who died in police custody on Wednesday morning following what’s believed to have been a “targeted” hit and run was Tasered while officers attempted to arrest him.
Deputy Chief Ryan Ayliffe told media the “dynamic” situation started when a witness called 911 to report “that a vehicle appeared to have intentionally hit a pedestrian in the intersection of McKnight Boulevard and 52 Street N.E.
WATCH: Deputy Police Chief Ryan Ayliffe provides details of an in-custody death on Wednesday following a hit-and-run collision in Calgary.
Ayliffe said the victim, a man in his 40s, was rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition after officers provided “life-saving measures.” His condition had not changed as of 2 p.m. Wednesday.
The driver had left the scene but officers located a suspect a short time later in the area of 68 Street and 32 Avenue N.E. and tried to arrest him.
“The driver refused commands to exit the vehicle and a struggle ensued,” Ayliffe said.
“Tasers were deployed, a K9 unit was present at the time of the arrest.
“The driver was removed from the vehicle and officers transitioned to emergency medical intervention. EMS transported the driver, a male in his late 40s, to hospital where he was declared deceased.”
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the suspect, including the cause of death and what exactly happened during the struggle, Ayliffe said.
It’s believed the victim of the hit and run and the suspect were known to each other and that the collision was targeted. Investigators don’t yet know the nature of the relationship between the men.
WATCH: The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating after an in-custody death involving a hit and run in Calgary. Adam MacVicar reports.
When asked how police officers in situations like these determine when to deploy suppression methods, like using a Taser, Ayliffe said “nothing presents itself the same way twice,” which makes policing and frontline encounters difficult.
“In this case, our officers are required to continually evaluate the situations they’re in,” he said. “Our officers would have evaluated at some point during that struggle that it was appropriate to deploy a less lethal weapon, like a Taser, and whether or not that was successful the investigation will tell us one way or the other.”
Ayliffe said six officers — five from patrol and one from the K9 unit — are currently being interviewed by ASIRT.
He said the police service is working to make sure the officers are supported in the aftermath of the situation.
“These officers will be given a 30-day administrative leave and that is strictly to look after their health and wellness,” Ayliffe said. “It allows us to make sure that we avail every resource to them and their families so that they feel as though they’re in a good position to resume duties or explore further treatment for their own personal health.”
The incident caused numerous closures in northeast Calgary, including:
- Eastbound McKnight Boulevard N.E. between 52 Street N.E. and 68 Street N.E.
- 32 Avenue N.E. in both directions between 64 Street N.E. and 68 Street N.E.
- Southbound 68 Street between McKnight Boulevard N.E. and 32 Avenue N.E.
- Northbound 52 Street at 32 Avenue N.E.
— With files from Adam MacVicar
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