The executive director of a unit that investigates serious police actions says a shooting that left a 29-year-old man partially paralyzed was reasonable and justified.
Susan Hughson of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says an RCMP officer was entitled to use as much force as needed to arrest the man who was a risk to the public and threatening to escape.
The man was in a drive-thru at a Lloydminster fast-food restaurant when Mounties tried to stop him in September 2017 in relation to an ongoing investigation.
The driver sped off, and after colliding with an SUV at 124 km/h, got out of his truck and brandished a gun at another driver who had stopped to help.
Police ordered the man to drop the gun, but he instead continued to threaten the driver and yelled for him “to get out of the truck.”
An officer clipped the suspect with a police vehicle, but the man got up and raised his gun, at which point the officer shot him.
The suspect was transferred by air ambulance to an Edmonton hospital, where he was treated for what would turn out to be serious, permanent injuries, including partial paralysis.
A 25-year-old woman who had been driving the SUV was not seriously injured.
“During the course of these events, the 29-year-old man demonstrated he was highly motivated to escape, having driven over an embankment and fled police,” Hughson said in a release Monday.
“He was not only prepared to endanger others to do so, but had possibly already injured or killed an uninvolved woman who had simply been in his path, having forcefully collided with her vehicle.”
Hughson said the risk “became even more immediate when the man reached and attempted to enter the stopped truck.”
She said the man presented “a risk of grievous bodily harm or death” to the bystander as well as to the officer.