Police watchdog believes man shot by RCMP in central Alberta ‘intentionally’ sought encounter with police

A file photo of an Alberta Serious Incident Response Team vehicle.
A file photo of an Alberta Serious Incident Response Team vehicle. File / Global News

Five days after a 50-year-old man was shot during what the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team describes as an “encounter with a member of the Rocky Mountain House RCMP,” the police watchdog is offering a more detailed account of how events unfolded and says it believes the man who was shot purposely tried to trigger an encounter with officers.

According to ASIRT, RCMP got a 911 call at 6:09 p.m. on July 25 from a man “advising police that he was walking at a particular location on Highway 11A and, in addition to other information, suggesting that he was on his way to a residence in Rocky Mountain House to commit a serious violent offence.”

“The man’s call suggested that he may have harmed, and may continue to cause harm, to a specific person,” ASIRT said in a news release issued Tuesday afternoon.

RCMP members were dispatched to the call and six minutes later, a Mountie saw the man walking on Highway 11A, about one kilometre west of Rocky Mountain House.

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READ MORE: ASIRT investigating police shooting near Rocky Mountain House

“The officer stopped his vehicle, exited and asked the man if he had called police,” ASIRT said. “The police in-car video system captured a portion of the incident, during which the man can be seen advancing quickly in the direction of the officer.

“At that point, the situation escalated and a confrontation occurred off-camera that resulted in the officer discharging rounds from his service pistol, striking the man.”

The police watchdog said the man was given medical assistance at the scene where he was shot before being taken to hospital in Red Deer, and later airlifted to hospital in Calgary, where he remains. The RCMP officer was not hurt.

“It was later determined that the man’s initial call contained false information and that the call had been intentionally made to ensure that police would respond so that an encounter between police and the man would occur,” ASIRT said. “The potential victim mentioned in the man’s call has been located and was determined to be unharmed.”

The police watchdog said the man who was shot has provided them with a full statement. ASIRT is asking anyone who may have been travelling on Highway 11A at around the time of the confrontation on July 25, and who may have seen anything or have video footage of the encounter, to contact them. The watchdog said two vehicles were seen on video driving on the highway at the approximate time of the confrontation.

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Anyone with information is asked to call ASIRT at 780-644-1483.

“This incident is not related to a homicide in Rocky Mountain House that is currently under investigation by the RCMP,” ASIRT noted.

ASIRT is called on to investigate incidents involving Alberta law enforcement agencies “that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.”

Watch below: Some Global News videos about ASIRT in 2019.