Alberta’s police watchdog said a man in his 40s was carrying an air gun when he was shot and killed by Edmonton police this week along a major southside road.
It happened Tuesday night, when Edmonton police were called just after 9:30 p.m. to the Ramada by Wyndham Edmonton South, located near 53 Avenue between Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard.
An update Friday from the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team said staff at the south Edmonton hotel called 911, saying there was a man with a gun outside slashing and shooting at tires in the property’s parking lot.
ASIRT said patrol and tactical officers were dispatched, along with air support from the EPS Air 1 helicopter.
While police were responding, they were told by hotel staff that the man had left the parking lot on foot and had walked east across Gateway Boulevard, in the general direction of the Domo gas bar on the other side of the four-lane major roadway.
At approximately 9:46 p.m., ASIRT said officers encountered a man matching the initial description.
He was walking against the flow of traffic — headed south in the middle lanes of Gateway Boulevard towards responding tactical vehicles.
What occurred next was captured on Air 1 video, ASIRT said.
As some of the tactical officers exited their vehicles, the man turned and ran back north, away from police. The officers followed the man on foot.
He was observed to be carrying a dark object in his right hand, ASIRT said.
Near Gateway Boulevard and 56 Avenue, ASIRT said events occurred “that resulted in officers discharging their firearms.” The agency said the man was hit and fell to the ground, having sustained critical injuries.
A tactical paramedic provided immediate emergency medical care and EMS arrived, but the 43-year-old man died on scene.
The black object the man was carrying was dropped when he was shot. It was later recovered and determined to be an imitation Glock air pistol, which typically shoots pellets or metal BBs.
A magazine consistent with use in an air pistol was also found in the hotel parking lot, ASIRT said.
ASIRT said a critical part of its investigation will focus on what happened at the time the officers discharged their firearms.
“Although these events were captured on Air 1 video, no additional information will be released until any and all available witnesses have been interviewed, so as not to compromise this evidence,” the news release said.
ASIRT is looking to speak with people who witnessed what happened that evening.
Stuart Baron was staying at the Ramada Hotel on Tuesday night with his family. While he was in the parking lot, he said a man who appeared to be agitated walked by and stopped to talk to him.
“He just kind of walked by and he was talking to me briefly for a minute, asking me if I was alright, if everything is good,” Baron said told Global News on Wednesday.
ASIRT said hotel video has revealed a possible confrontation between the man and at least one other person in the parking lot.
The agency wants to talk to that person, along with the guest who initially reported the man’s behaviour to hotel staff, and anyone who may have been near 56 Avenue and Gateway Boulevard when the shooting occurred and saw or recorded what happened.
Witnesses are asked to call 780-644-1483.
ASIRT is called upon to investigate serious injury or death that may have been caused by officers and serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.