Woman dies after shooting involving Calgary police; ASIRT investigating
A woman died following an officer-involved shooting in Calgary on Wednesday morning, according to police.
Calgary police said a lone female officer was pepper-sprayed by a woman in her 30s while responding to reports of a suspicious person wandering through backyards in the area of 20 Avenue and 35 Street S.E.
According to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, the officer was sitting in the police vehicle when a woman approached the vehicle. They had a brief conversation before the woman sprayed the officer with an “unidentified aerosol.”
An altercation occurred and the woman was shot, police said. ASIRT said the officer got out of the car and tried to arrest the woman after calling for back up.
WATCH: Acting Deputy Chief Steve Barlow updates a fatal officer-involved shooting that happened in southeast Calgary on Wednesday
The officer provided emergency medical care to the woman before paramedics arrived, ASIRT said.
EMS told Global News the woman was taken to hospital in critical, life-threatening condition.
At one point, more than 10 police cruisers were on scene in the southeast and police tape was blocking off an alleyway.
Police said Wednesday afternoon that the woman was known to police. Investigators would not confirm whether drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident.
The woman’s identity was confirmed later on Wednesday, police said, adding that officers were in the process of notifying next of kin.
The officer, who is a six-year member of the Calgary Police Service (CPS), was placed on a 30-day administrative leave and CPS said the individual will have the support of the service and Calgary Police Association.
“This morning’s incident highlights the reality that there are no routine calls in policing,” CPS said in a news release.
“When our officers respond to a call from the public in their time of need, we are driven by our common purpose of keeping our community safe. At times, this means officers find themselves at risk, needing to respond to a dynamic situation that unfolds in a blink of an eye.”
Acting Deputy Chief Steve Barlow said Calgary police respond to more than 35,000 suspicious persons calls a year and some “unfold very, very quickly.”
“The problem is that [a] non-lethal [weapon] — when you’re dealing with an officer who is carrying a firearm and if they became incapacitated, then we don’t know how that’s going to turn on us,” Barlow said.
“We train our officers to deal with these situations and I can only commend her on how she handled this situation. It’s a horrible outcome.
“No officer ever comes to work in a day and wants to or is planning to be in a situation like this but it is something that they have to react to and train for.”
ASIRT said the aerosol container, which is suspected to be pepper spray, was covered in black tape and its label was obscured.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has video is asked to contact ASIRT at 403-592-4306.
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