A central Alberta homeowner who shot and killed an intruder Monday is speaking out about the harrowing ordeal.
The confrontation happened at a rural home in Red Deer County at around 3 p.m. on Aug. 2.
Members of the Blackfalds RCMP department were on their way to the home for reports of a break and enter when they received an update that one man was injured and bleeding and another had been shot.
RCMP said officers arrived at the home 10 minutes after being dispatched, at which time they found the homeowner injured and a second man dead.
In a Friday news release, RCMP said witnesses reported that the homeowner had arrived at his residence to find the deceased sleeping inside.
“A confrontation then occurred in which the deceased struck the homeowner numerous times with a baseball bat,” RCMP said, and that during the attack, the homeowner “shot the deceased one time.”
The homeowner, who Global News has agreed not to identify due to privacy concerns, said he walked into his bedroom armed with a shotgun to find the man sleeping in his bed. He demanded the intruder get on the floor and the man started to comply, but then a scuffle broke out.
The homeowner said he pumped a shell in his gun to show he had a live round ready to go, but when he looked down at his safety he was attacked with a baseball bat.
Bleeding and injured, he tried to get out of the house but was still being attacked. He says he used the shotgun to deflect some of the blows, which left his hand mangled, and eventually managed to push the safety, turn the gun on the intruder and pull the trigger.
“The taking of life, until you’ve done it, you have no idea the trauma that it has on the person that did it. Until you pull the trigger you have no idea,” he told Global News.
RCMP said that after consultation with the Crown prosecutor’s office, the decision was made that charges will not be laid.
“In this particular case, there was a lot of evidence and it was all very consistent,” RCMP Cpl. Susan Richter said. “The Crown prosecutor’s office was pretty comfortable with the decision that charges were not appropriate.”
“This is a very unique incident with some very unique circumstances to it,” she said. “We don’t see this kind of thing often.”
“This is a case that has really rocked the community and received a pretty strong response from everyone, very understandably.”
Premier calls the deceased a ‘meth addict,’ calls for provincial police model
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Premier Jason Kenney addressed the issue of rural crime in Alberta, suggesting a provincial police force would be welcome here.
“We all know there’s been a rural crime crisis for several years,” Kenney said.
“You saw what happened the other day in Penhold,” he said. “Apparently some meth addict did three home invasions, beat people in a family with a bat, came back repeatedly, and this guy kept getting put back out on the street. Ultimately, it led to the dad having to defend his family, sadly, with a lethal effect.”
RCMP said they have not yet received an autopsy report from the medical examiner which would confirm whether or not the deceased had drugs or alcohol in his system. RCMP have also not confirmed if the deceased had a criminal record.
“We’ve seen too many things like this – especially in rural,” Kenney said. One of the issues is unacceptably long police response times. I think that we can do better with a community police model.”
“If it’s good enough for city people, why isn’t it good enough for country people, rural people, to have their own local police force? That’s what an Alberta provincial police force would provide.”
“We respect the RCMP and the many great RCMP officers who serve our communities. We honour them and we support them. But the RCMP is a huge national, complex organization with an unfocused mandate. They do everything from highway patrol in rural Alberta to complex national security and cybercrime stuff in Ottawa. That’s not a community policing model.”
NDP justice critic Irfan Sabir said Kenney is talking about the benefits of axing the RCMP without providing any evidence.
“The UCP has yet to show Albertans any proof that this half-baked idea will lead to better policing and stronger community safety for Albertans,” Sabir said. “In fact, it’s this UCP government that has already cut tens of millions of dollars from police budgets across the province.”
“Albertans want safer communities, not a further downloading of costs onto them,” he added. “Cost increases is exactly what will happen when Jason Kenney downloads hundreds of millions in start-up costs of a new police force on municipalities.
“This isn’t a plan for stronger community policing, it’s just more UCP political gamesmanship and Albertans are getting sick of it.”
The homeowner underwent surgery to fix his hand Friday and is grateful to the RCMP for their work and professionalism.
– With files from Tracy Nagai