Alberta’s police watchdog has released more details surrounding Monday’s officer-involved fatal shooting of a Sherwood Park woman.
The Alberta Serious Response Team (ASIRT) said the 42-year-old woman made two calls to RCMP for help on the morning of Sept. 23.
ASIRT said audio recordings of her calls reveal she first contacted police at around 3 a.m., when she advised that she was in an abusive relationship and believed her incarcerated ex-boyfriend had sent someone to her backyard.
ASIRT said RCMP investigated the area around her home in the Sherwood Heights neighbourhood but found no one in the vicinity.
At around 7:25 a.m., RCMP received a second call, where the woman told Strathcona RCMP that she was going to kill herself, and that she had been drinking, ASIRT said.
She also advised she was armed with a knife and a Katana sword. RCMP say the phone operator tried to de-escalate the situation but the woman abruptly hung up after some time.
“I have to hang up now,” she said.
ASIRT said the phone operator called back, but the woman answered and screamed: “Why aren’t they here yet?”and hung up again.
ASIRT said when the first officer arrived on scene, they stayed in the police vehicle and tried to speak with the woman, who was now in her front doorway, armed with the Katana sword. The officer tried to get the woman to put down her sword.
Two additional officers arrived to the scene and all three exited their vehicles.
ASIRT said dash cam footage from RCMP vehicles showed that the woman then ran at the police officers, sword extended. Officers directed her to drop the weapon, ASIRT said.
“The woman came within very close proximity to the officers, where a confrontation occurred that resulted in one officer discharging a firearm,” the watchdog agency said in a news release on Tuesday.
The woman fell to the ground and the officers attempted to provide medical aide. The woman was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.
A section of Pine Street near Cottonwood Avenue was blocked off Monday while police held the scene.
ASIRT continues to investigate the incident.