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2 Edmonton police officers shot and killed: ‘Unthinkable and horrific tragedy’

Two Edmonton police officers were shot and killed early Thursday morning while responding to a family violence call at an apartment building that also left the suspect dead and a woman injured.

“The Edmonton Police Service has been marked by a really unthinkable and horrific tragedy as two of our members have died in the line of duty,” Chief Dale McFee said.

Const. Travis Jordan, 35, who had been with EPS for 8.5 years; and Const. Brett Ryan, 30, who had been with the service for 5.5 years, were killed.

“I can’t tell you how devastated we are by their loss,” the police chief said. “We know that their family and friends, their family, their entire community will be profoundly impacted by this incident.

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“We must all be there for each other. This is a time where we lean in and lean on each other,” McFee said.

“These people were doing their job. This is unthinkable. It’s unimaginable. It’s horrific. It’s a tragedy.”

“Constables Jordan and Ryan were valued members of our EPS family and they worked side by side with us every day in service to our community,” McFee said.

“These two members died in service and protection of our community. Their lives and sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

The two constables responded to what McFee described as a “family dispute” at 12:47 a.m. at a building at Baywood Apartments.

The building is part of a large red-brick complex of three-storey walk-ups at 114 Avenue and 132 Street, just off Groat Road near Westmount Mall.

Click to play video: '‘Unthinkable and horrific tragedy’: Edmonton police chief responds to fatal shooting of 2 officers'
‘Unthinkable and horrific tragedy’: Edmonton police chief responds to fatal shooting of 2 officers

They went inside the apartment building, approached the suite and were shot by a male, McFee said.

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As far as investigators can tell so far, McFee said the officers, “did not have a chance to discharge their firearms.”

The two officers were rushed to hospital by their EPS colleagues “who worked valiantly to save their lives en route.”

However, both were pronounced dead at the hospital.

“The young male subject is also deceased,” McFee said, “believed to be from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

A female, who police said is related to the young shooting suspect, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

As of late Thursday morning, she was in serious but stable condition.

Sources tell Global News the suspect was 16 or 17 years old and the female victim is his mother.

“I want to assure the public that there is no further risk to our community from this incident,” McFee said.

Two Edmonton police officers were killed during a call early Thursday, March 16, 2023. Dave Carels, Global News

There was a large police presence near the Baywood Apartments, northwest of central Edmonton — stretching between 114 and 111 avenues and 132 Street in the Inglewood neighbourhood.

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The police scene, just east of Groat Road, included several police vehicles and an area outside an apartment building was taped off.

McFee said police will maintain the shooting scene and continue to investigate.

During the 10 a.m. news conference, McFee said the two fallen officers were being taken to the medical examiner’s office, escorted by Edmonton first responders.

“I want to thank all our partners who reached out so quickly — fire, EMS — to provide that escort to their final place.”

Click to play video: 'Procession at medical examiner’s officer for fallen Edmonton police officers'
Procession at medical examiner’s officer for fallen Edmonton police officers

Const. Jordan was the Edmonton police officer dubbed “Snow Angel,” after he helped a local woman brush snow off her car instead of ticketing her.

In 2020, Jessica Shmigelsky was driving to work after a heavy spring snowfall. Her snowbrush had broken and Jordan pulled her over because she had too much snow on her vehicle.

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Instead of giving her a ticket, he brushed off her car.

“He did his job and he did more than what his job really entailed,” Shmigelsky said.

She still has the snowbrush Jordan gave her.

Jessica Shmigelsky and Edmonton Police Officer Travis Jordan meet so she can thank him for his kindness. Courtesy: Jessica Shmigelsky

In his spare time, Ryan was a minor hockey official.

“Brett Ryan was a pillar within our community and will be missed by all who knew him,” said a social media post from the Spruce Grove Minor Hockey Association. “We take this time to honour his life and the contributions he has made to the Edmonton community and beyond.”

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Ryan’s friend Darcy Carter said Ryan was a paramedic before he became a police officer, adding he was passionate about his work and his duty to serve the community.

“That’s something that I’ll never forget … just his face lighting up when he talked about his job,” Carter said.

Click to play video: 'Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan latest police officers to be killed on duty in Edmonton'
Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan latest police officers to be killed on duty in Edmonton

Ryan was a paramedic before he became a police officer.

The Alberta Paramedic Association said Ryan served as a paramedic with Medavie Health Services in Saddle Lake, Alta., from 2012 to 2015.

“Throughout his career, helping others was the focus of all his roles,” a statement from the association reads.

Ryan is survived by his wife Ashley Ryan, who is a paramedic, it said.

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Sources confirm to Global News she was on shift and at the Royal Alexandra Hospital when her husband was brought in early Thursday morning.

Click to play video: 'Alberta public safety minister says Edmonton police shooting hits close to home'
Alberta public safety minister says Edmonton police shooting hits close to home

Mike Ellis, a former police officer who is now Alberta’s public safety minister, said the news hits very close to home.

“Every day, police officers across Alberta put their uniforms on, they protect and they serve their communities. The sudden and tragic deaths of these two police service officers reminds us again of the dangers police officers constantly face on a daily basis in order to protect the people of Edmonton and the people of Alberta,” he said.

“What’s important now is we provide our support to the family and friends and colleagues of those officers,” Ellis said. “I cannot stress that enough.

“There are no words. There are really no words that I can express other than the deep sympathy and loss.”

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Click to play video: '‘Today is a very difficult and sad day’: Edmonton mayor on fatal police shooting'
‘Today is a very difficult and sad day’: Edmonton mayor on fatal police shooting

Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said his heart was heavy after hearing about the officers’ deaths.

“We’re all devastated to receive the news that Const. Travis Jordan and Const. Brett Ryan were murdered in the line of duty early this morning.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the families of these two officers and the entire Edmonton Police Service. We also send my condolences to all first responders and to all Edmontonians as we grieve together.

The last time an Edmonton police officer was killed on duty was June 8, 2015.

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Const. Daniel Woodall died while attempting to make an arrest at a home in west Edmonton.

Click to play video: 'Const. Daniel Woodall school honours 2 fallen officers in Edmonton'
Const. Daniel Woodall school honours 2 fallen officers in Edmonton

The 35-year-old officer was shot through the door of a home. Another officer was also injured but survived.

The suspect took his own life.

His widow Claire Woodall provided a statement Thursday.

“I’m heartbroken to hear the news of two officers sadly taken today in the line of duty,” the statement reads.

“It has understandably brought back painful memories. I’m saddened to think these same feelings will be shared by the fallen officers’ families again today.”

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“Thoughts and prayers go out to all involved, and of course our extended EPS family,” reads the statement, signed by Claire, Gabe and Callen Woodall.

A woman who lives nearby Thursday’s scene said she woke up at 2:45 a.m. to a huge police presence.

“It’s not rare seeing police around but seeing so many, it’s unbelievable,” said Glenda, who declined to provide her last name. “I knew something serious was going on.”

Click to play video: 'Gun violence concerns in Edmonton as 2 police officers latest victims in string of shootings'
Gun violence concerns in Edmonton as 2 police officers latest victims in string of shootings

She’s lived in the complex for about nine years and was very sad to hear officers had been killed.

“It’s terrible. It’s not what you want to hear when you get up in the morning. The police are here to protect us. It’s just not what you want to hear. I got up at 3 a.m. this morning and there were so many cops around the complex, I was like: ‘What’s going on?’

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“It’s very sad,” Glenda said.

Taran Mosentine lives one block away from where the fatal shooting occurred.

“I heard gunshots at about midnight… then I heard a bunch of sirens.

“I feel for the families. I don’t know what else to say,” Mosentine said. “It’s a sad day for everybody.

“I’m 42 and these guys are 35 and 30. I can’t imagine being at work at night and then having to get a knock on the door saying their husbands have been killed.”

Click to play video: '2 Edmonton officers fatally shot responding to domestic violence call'
2 Edmonton officers fatally shot responding to domestic violence call

Another Inglewood resident said she loves her neighbourhood and what happened is horrible.

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“There’s families here, there’s children playing, all summer long, out front. There’s people sitting in their backyards,” Amie Able said.

“This is just our home. I don’t want people to paint this area as bad.

“The cops are really good here. When we’ve had to call them … their response time was amazing,” she added. “This is not a police problem. They are here when we need them.”

Click to play video: 'What we know so far about fatal shooting of 2 Edmonton police constables'
What we know so far about fatal shooting of 2 Edmonton police constables

The Alberta Health Services Mental Health Help Line is a 24-hour confidential service that provides support, information and referrals to Albertans experiencing mental health concerns and can be reached at 1-877-303-2642.

Wellness Together Canada is a free and confidential mental health and substance use support line from the Government of Canada.

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Alberta Health Services Crisis Text Line: Text “CONNECT” to 741741.

Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868

— With files from Angela Amato, The Canadian Press

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