ASIRT deems Edmonton police officer’s actions in 2017 shooting lawful

Alberta Serious Incident Response Team. File/Global News

An ASIRT investigation into an Edmonton police officer who shot a 34-year-old man in 2017 came to a conclusion Thursday.

Almost three years later, ASIRT has deemed the actions of the police officer lawful.

The statement released by ASIRT on Thursday said that between March 25 and 27, 2017, police repeatedly received information that suggested the 34-year-old man was in possession of firearms — and that he was willing to use those firearms against police.

On March 27, 2017, ASIRT said officers had been in contact with the man, notifying him that he had breached bail conditions.

On March 30, after choosing not to turn himself in, officers said they followed the man in a Chevrolet Impala, which was ditched near 128 Avenue and 54 Street, before the suspect attempted to run away on foot.

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ASIRT said one officer located the suspect at 6:20 p.m. which resulted in a confrontation where the officer shot the suspect.

Click to play video: 'Witnesses speak out after man shot by police in north Edmonton'
Witnesses speak out after man shot by police in north Edmonton

In a news release on Thursday, ASIRT said there were several witnesses, including another officer and two civilians.

“With the exception of the version provided by the man himself, all witnesses, including the independent witnesses, agreed that the man was not surrendering but rather yelling, “acting tough,” jumping up and down and waving his arms,” the release said.

ASIRT said as the officer confronted the man, the suspect’s hand went into the pocket of his sweatpants and that he appeared to be pulling out a dark item that was black and had a straight edge that resembled, to him, the end of a pistol.

ASIRT also noted a black cellphone was located near the man’s head immediately following the shooting.

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In the four-and-a-half months leading up to the shooting, ASIRT noted the man had been charged with offences related to the possession and use of firearms.

After investigation, ASIRT determined “the officer had objectively reasonable grounds to believe that the man might be armed,” and “the man might be reaching for a firearm and that he presented a risk of death or grievous bodily harm to the officer.”

ASIRT added there’s no reason to believe the officer involved in the shooting committed a crime.

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