Man who let Edmonton police into apartment building recalls deadly shooting

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
Even before the violence that claimed the life of two Edmonton Police Service officers, there have been several other high-profile shootings in the city recently, including at a Pizza Hut just across the road from where the EPS tragedy took place.

Phillip Dunn lives in the suite directly above the apartment where two Edmonton police constables were shot and killed Thursday morning.

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

The two officers responded at 12:47 a.m. to Baywood Apartments — a large complex of three-storey red-brick walk-ups at 114 Avenue and 132 Street, just off Groat Road near Westmount Mall in the Inglewood neighbourhood.

When the two officers arrived, they were met outside of the apartment building by the suspect’s mother, who had called 911.

Dunn was standing in his kitchen in the early morning hours when police officers started shining a flashlight into his window — Dunn said they were trying to get his attention.

Police said Friday the woman was having difficulty with her son and the officers were responding to help with the domestic dispute.

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Dunn noticed they were standing outside with his neighbour, so he went down to open the door.

“They thanked me for letting them in and they said: ‘You can go back to your unit, sir. Don’t bother about us.'”

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

After meeting the mother outside, Edmonton police said the two officers went up to the suite where she lived with a 73-year-old man and their 16-year-old son.

“I went up the stairs, they turned off on the second floor behind me and then before I even went back into my apartment, I heard shooting.

“They knocked on the door and the guy just opened the door and starting shooting.”

Investigators said neither officer had time to draw and fire their own guns and they never made it inside the apartment.

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A struggle reportedly ensued between the mother and son over the gun, and the suspect shot his mom before turning the weapon on himself, taking his own life.

Read more: Mom fought to get gun away from son after he killed 2 EPS officers, no link to other crimes made: Police

Dunn got back inside his suite and, within “a matter of minutes,” there was a huge police presence.

Linda Fjeldsted saw flashing lights from her apartment next door. Her window faces the shared parking lot.

“We looked out and so many police, so much stuff going on, police running in different directions,” she recalled.

“Then two policemen were carrying out a man. We thought it was a bad man that they had tied up — he was all crunched up — and they put him in the back seat of a police car and they took off,” Fjeldsted said.

“Then they brought out another one — I thought it was another bad man — put him into the back of a car and they took off again.

“But it was the two policemen. And we heard later that when they got to the hospital, they had died, which broke my heart.”

Upon arrival to Royal Alexandra Hospital in central Edmonton, EPS said both officers were declared dead.

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Edmonton police Const. Travis Jordan, left, and Const. Brett Ryan are seen in a composite image made from two undated handout photos. Jordan, 35, an eight-and-a-half-year veteran with the Edmonton force, and Ryan, 30, who had been with the service for five and a half years, were shot and killed responding to a domestic violence call. Edmonton Police Service

Soon, there were about a dozen police vehicles and other emergency vehicles at the scene, Fjeldsted said.

“The police were crying,” she said. “We didn’t really understand at the time why, but now…”

“They were taking them to the Royal Alex and they didn’t survive and they both … have families. It’s sad.”

Const. Brett Ryan, 30, and Const. Travis Jordan, 35, were fatally shot responding to the domestic violence call.

The mother was also taken in critical condition by EMS to hospital, where police said she remains in serious but stable condition.

She is still unconscious but police said they want to talk to her once her condition improves.

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The father was not injured during the shootings, police said, adding he was in another room and didn’t see the violent confrontations take place. He is co-operating with the investigation.


Read more: Father-to-be and ‘snow angel’ — Slain Edmonton officers Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan remembered

Fjeldsted said in addition to feeling sadness and anxiety, she was also angry.

“And now I know it was a … boy. Oh lord.”

Both Fjeldsted and Dunn are still trying to process the gravity of what they witnessed.

“A lot of yelling and screaming, not so much any gunshots, no, but yelling and screaming and chaos,” Fjeldsted said.

“I don’t feel I’m in an unsafe place. I feel it was an unsafe incident.”

Dunn said the teen and his mother “seemed like nice, quiet people.”

“They never bothered anybody.”

He said he didn’t know them well but saw them out on the deck in the summer and held the door for them on occasion.

“I’m a little bit shaken,” he said. “But … you have to keep going. I don’t know what else to say.

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“It’s a lot to take in. I really don’t know how to process it,” Dunn added. “I haven’t really wrapped my mind around it yet.”

— With files from Karen Bartko, Global News

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