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2 charged after driving car toward Calgary military parade, being shot by officers: police

WATCH: Two people are in custody after an officer-involved shooting in downtown Calgary during a military parade on Saturday. Carolyn Kury de Castillo has more from the scene.

Two people who were shot and eventually arrested by police during a parade in downtown Calgary on Saturday have now been charged, police said on Monday.

A man and woman were taken to hospital from the downtown core after police said they tried to drive a car toward a military parade.

How it started

Witnesses said they heard gunshots before 3 p.m. in the 600 block of 8 Avenue S.W. — the four-block crime scene was later marked with police tape.

The Calgary Police Service said an officer fired shots at a black 2008 Toyota Corolla that attempted to drive toward the parade.

They said the car was heading north on 6 Street S.W., and turned east on 8 Avenue S.W., going around barriers.

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“Officers attempted to block the car with their patrol vehicle, at which point the suspect vehicle did a U-turn, attempting to flee,” a police news release said.

Police are investigating after an officer-involved shooting in downtown Calgary on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.
Police are investigating after an officer-involved shooting in downtown Calgary on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. Mike Hills/Global News

Witness Greg Kucharski heard the drums of the military band before he heard the shots while he was doing caulking work on a nearby building.

“[The driver] bypassed the officer that was diverting traffic there, and he pretty fast started driving towards the orchestra,” he said, adding that the driver veered on the sidewalk to evade police.

A 12-year CPS member fired three shots at 6 Avenue S.W. and 8 Street S.W., according to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT). The Corolla continued to 6 Avenue S.W. and 6 Street S.W. where it hit a bystander vehicle and stopped, according to police.

ASIRT said the two people inside tried to run away but were quickly arrested.

Police said both the vehicle and the licence plate were stolen in separate incidents.​ The Corolla was seen with severe front-end damage.

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ASIRT is investigating after an officer-involved shooting in downtown Calgary on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.
ASIRT is investigating after an officer-involved shooting in downtown Calgary on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. Devon Simmons/Global News

2 charged

EMS confirmed that a woman and man were taken to Foothills Medical Centre with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said the Corolla’s male driver and female passenger were taken into custody.

ASIRT said the man had a bullet wound to the left forearm and the woman had a single gunshot wound to her left thigh.

As of Sunday, the woman was released from the hospital and the man was having surgery, according to police.

Police said Monday that Bogdan Ferdinand Diordiev, 21, of Calgary, has been charged with seven offences including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from a police officer and driving an uninsured vehicle. Police originally said he was 22 but later corrected his age to 21.

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Alanna Mae Steeves, 28, also of Calgary, has been charged with possession of drugs in relation to the incident.​

No police officers, pedestrians or bystanders were injured, CPS said.

The incident happened at the same time the 41 Service Battalion was marching down 8 Avenue S.W. to the Mewata Armoury. An official told Global News no one from the march was injured.

Where the investigation goes from here

Police are responsible for the investigation and any charges related to the conduct of the driver and passenger of the stolen vehicle.

“Given the nature of today’s events, we have engaged our national security partners in this investigation,” police said in a Saturday news release at 9:30 p.m.

“At this time, there is no indication of any links to extremist activity.”

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ASIRT is investigating the “lawfulness of the use of force by police,” and is asking anyone who saw or recorded the incident to call them at 403-592-4306.