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Condolences pour in following shooting deaths of Edmonton police officers

The outpourings of consolation and sympathy following the shooting of two Edmonton Police Service officers was quick and came from across the nation on Thursday.

Flags also were lowered to half mast at the Alberta Legislature, city halls, and police stations across the province.

Early Thursday morning, the EPS officers were responding to a family violence call at an apartment when they were shot and killed.

Const. Travis Jordan, 35, was an 8.5 year veteran of the service and Const. Brett Ryan, 30, had been with the service for 5.5 years.

“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.

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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

‘Edmontonians grieve together’

Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said he was “devastated” by the news of the officer deaths, calling it a “very difficult and sad day.”

“On behalf of City Council, city administration and all Edmontonians, I extend my deepest condolences to the families of these fallen officers and the entire Edmonton Police Service. I also send my condolences to all first responders and to all Edmontonians as we grieve together,” Sohi said in a statement.

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“Every single day police officers put their lives at risk to help protect the public. Every day, the families of police officers send their loved ones off to work and hope they return home safely.

“This didn’t happen today for the Ryan and Jordan families.”

Edmontonians are invited to pay their respects by signing books of condolence. Starting March 17 at 10:30 a.m. condolence books will be available at city hall in the south lobby near the information desk. The condolence books will be set up from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Erick Ambtman, chair of the Edmonton Police Commission, called the deaths of the EPS officers “senseless and truly tragic.”

“We are extremely saddened by the news of these two young lives being cut short,” Ambtman said, while extending condolences on behalf of the civilian oversight body and thanking EPS members for their service.

“We wish to express our deep sorrow and please know that our thoughts are with you all as the Edmonton Police Service moves through this incredibly difficult time.”

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Since 1990, four EPS officers have been killed in the line of duty. On June 25, 1990, Const. Ezio Faraone was shot and killed, and on June 8, 2015, Const. Daniel Wooddall was fatally shot.

Wooddall’s family said they were heartbroken to hear the news of the deaths of Jordan and Ryan.

“I’m saddened to think these same feelings will be shared by the fallen officers’ families again today. Thoughts and prayers go out to all involved, and of course our extended EPS family,” a statement from the family reads.

Click to play video: '2 Edmonton police officers shot and killed responding to domestic violence call'
2 Edmonton police officers shot and killed responding to domestic violence call

The Edmonton Oilers said they were “deeply saddened” to hear of the officers’ deaths, calling all EPS members “valued partners.”

The Oilers plan to honour constables Ryan and Jordan at Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Stars.

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“These fallen heroes have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our community safe and we will never forget,” the team said on social media.

The Inglewood Community League expressed “profound sadness” over the deaths of two officers who were responding to a domestic dispute in their neighbourhood.

“As a community of 8,000 residents, we are concerned for all our community members, and especially the neighbours and other residents of the Baywood Apartments who have been distressed by the events of last night. We are reaching out to the City and to work with other organizations, agencies and services to ensure that residents have the support and resources they need to heal from this tragedy,” the community association said.

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St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron expressed condolences following the deaths of officers in the city that is her neighbour.

“There are no words,” Heron said. “Thank you to all those who face such sacrifices for our safety; the names of these two officers will be remembered for the heroes they are.”

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board extended “heartful condolences to the families and the broader police community.

“We stand with you in your time of need.”

‘Alberta mourns this unimaginable loss with you’

Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services Mike Ellis — who previously served as a police officer in Calgary — issued a joint statement “extending our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues” of the officers killed in the line of duty.

“On behalf of the Government of Alberta, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Const. Travis Jordan and Const. Brett Ryan,” the statement said.

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“The sudden and tragic deaths of these two Edmonton Police Service officers remind us again of the dangers police officers constantly face to ensure the safety of Albertans.”

Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani extended “heartfelt condolences.”

“Albertans will never forget them and are truly thankful to all members of the uniform services for their sustained service and sacrifice,” she wrote. “We also hold in our thoughts all those who are victims of senseless violence in our communities.”

Opposition leader Rachel Notley said she was “shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific shootings that took place this morning.”

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“I know that there are no words that can truly capture the scale of heartbreak experienced by Albertans today. I offer the sincerest and deepest condolences on behalf of His Majesty’s Official Opposition,” she said in a statement.

In the statement, she thanked the members of EPS and other police services provincewide, their families and members of the Legislative Assembly.

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

“We know that frontline responders are facing increased risk doing their jobs: keeping citizens safe. After three years of greater and greater stress on our communities, I believe we can say that these incidents are not isolated, and neither are the solutions. It is on all of us to do everything we can to keep our communities safe and to keep our officers safe, and we can do that by working to build more secure communities.”

The Legislative Assembly took a moment of silence Thursday afternoon to recognize the officers.

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“Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them,” Speaker Nathan Cooper said after the moment of silence.

Alberta NDP justice critic Irfan Sabir also offered his deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the two officers.

Down the QEII highway from Edmonton, the Calgary Police Service shared in the mourning of the loss of two officers.

“We share in the profound grief and loss of Edmonton Police Service Constables Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan, who were murdered this morning while responding to a domestic call at an Edmonton apartment building. These officers made the ultimate sacrifice in serving their community,” the Calgary Police Service said in a statement.

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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

“Line of duty deaths have a profound impact on all police officers across Canada and we grieve alongside the EPS. Policing families are very close and this is especially true of our relationship with EPS. We have offered our support to EPS during this difficult time, and in the days and weeks to follow.”

Books of condolences will be set up at CPS district offices and headquarters.

“No words…” CPS Chief Mark Neufeld posted on social media.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek expressed “incredible sorrow and sincere condolences” to the families, friends and colleagues of the Edmonton officers who died.

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“We know that any time an officer responds to a call, they have no idea what they will meet on the other end, and this was an incredibly tragic situation,” Gondek said. “I thank members of every police service who do this work every day knowing that their lives are at risk. This is an incredibly sad day.”

Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner said she was “deeply saddened” to learn of the officers’ deaths.

“I join all Albertans in extending my deepest condolences to the friends, family and colleagues of the two officers. My heart goes out to them and I mourn with them,” she said in a statement, expressing concerns in an apparent increase in violent crime in communities.

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“Legislators have a duty to make sure that our laws and processes keep Canadians safe, including front line responders.”

Police provincewide to mark fallen officers

The Alberta Sheriffs said they will don the peace officer memorial ribbon today in the memory of the fallen EPS officers.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn Edmonton Police Const. Travis Jordan & Const. Brett Ryan, who were killed in the line of duty this morning,” Sheriffs said.

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The Alberta Federation of Police Associations said police across the province were mourning the deaths of Jordan and Ryan.

“Our members are deeply saddened by this tragedy, however they are still answering the call of serving and protecting the community today and every day. That is truly commendable,” AFPA president Chris Young said in a statement, calling policing a calling. “We will always remember Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan, not only as police officers, but as good human beings that tried to make their community a better place.”

The Alberta RCMP said they were saddened by the deaths of the Edmonton officers, a sentiment shared by the national service.

“We extend our sincerest condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of these two fallen officers. Our thoughts are with them and our partners at Edmonton Police Service.”

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Condolences from the nation’s capital

The prime minister lauded the work police officers do, “putting themselves in harm’s way to keep people safe.

“The news that two Edmonton Police officers have been killed in the line of duty reminds us of that reality,” Justin Trudeay said. “I’m sending my condolences to the officers’ loved ones and colleagues – we’re here for you.”

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety said he was “devastated” by the news.

“I’m devastated to learn that two Edmonton Police officers made the ultimate sacrifice while responding to a call earlier today,” Mendocino said. “My heart is with their loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.”

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Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre also shared his condolences on social media.

“We mourn with the families and colleagues of two police officers killed in the line of duty in Edmonton this morning,” he wrote.

“Never take for granted that our law enforcement put their lives on the line every single day to keep our communities safe.”

The deaths of constables Jordan and Ryan become the seventh and eighth deaths of officers in the line of duty in Canada in the last six months.

–with files from Emily Mertz, Global News, and The Canadian Press

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.

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