A 26-year-old Indigenous woman from British Columbia has died after being shot by police in Edmundston, N.B., on Thursday.
Police have not yet identified the woman although Global News has verified with multiple family members that she is Chantel Moore.
“Chantel was very kind and gentle. She wouldn’t even hurt a fly,” her aunt, Nora Martin, told Global News.
She had only recently moved to Edmundston from Port Alberni, B.C.
Mychèle Poitras, a spokesperson for the police force, told Global News that at approximately 2:30 a.m., officers received a request for a wellness check on Moore.
Martin said Moore was afraid someone was harassing her.
“Her boyfriend called the cops in Edmundston and asked them go and check on her because somebody was harassing her and she was scared,” she said.
Moore lived at an apartment building on Canada Road in Edmundston, located 275 kilometres north of Fredericton.
Martin told Global News Moore had moved in only a few days prior, and police had to get the new address from Moore’s mother, Martha.
“A couple hours later, they went back to Martha’s place and told Martha that Chantel had attacked the cop with a knife and he shot her five times.”
Poitras said the responding officer was charged by Moore, who was holding a knife, as soon as the door to the apartment opened.
The officer fired their weapon and although efforts were made to resuscitate the woman, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police were not able to provide any information on how many shots were fired but Martin told Global News that Moore’s mother was told that five shots were fired.
“Doesn’t make sense to us. Why couldn’t he have used a Taser? Why did he go in alone? I’ve never heard of that, a cop going in by himself.”
Poitras said the officer was first on the scene, but back-up was on the way and arrived shortly after the incident.
An autopsy has been scheduled and the investigation is ongoing.
Moore leaves behind a young daughter.
Her father, located in Calgary, spoke to Global News and called her a free spirit.
“She was looking forward to starting her new life,” Eugene Moore said. “She was very positive, she was making a lot of friends.”
Moore said at this point, he just wants to know what happened.
“I’d like to speak with the officer because only he knows what he saw,” Moore said. “There would have had to have been something that he saw that would have completed the picture of a hostile encounter we would have had to protect himself like he did.”
A GoFundMe page has been created in support of Moore’s family.
The police force says it has requested an independent agency to conduct a review of the incident to ensure police took the appropriate actions and that they conformed to police standards.
The New Brunswick RCMP is providing investigative and forensic support.
Late Thursday, an independent police watchdog from Quebec confirmed it will look into the shooting.
The BEI is responsible for investigating all cases where a person — other than a serving police officer — dies or is injured by a firearm used by a on-duty officer.