A series of carjackings that forced police to shoot their weapons came to an end early Wednesday in southeast Edmonton, but not before the suspect allegedly used one of the stolen vehicles to ram another driver dozens of times during the morning rush hour on the south leg of Anthony Henday Drive.
Shortly after 8 p.m., officers responded to “a white Dodge Ram truck actively smashing into other vehicles in the area of 117 Avenue and 102 Street,” police said in a news release Wednesday morning.
“Police determined the male driver has been involved in two violent, armed carjackings earlier that evening in Downtown Branch.”
When police arrived, the driver got out of the truck and there was a confrontation between him and the officers. One of the officers fired their gun.
The driver jumped back in the truck, fled the area and was involved in another armed carjacking nearby, police said. Police continued to chase the man all night.
Naeem Issa and his nephew were driving along Anthony Henday Drive eastbound near Terwillegar Drive at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
He said the a red truck drove up behind them, hitting their bumper multiple times and pulling a gun on them.
“I started speeding up, trying to get away from him,” Issa recalled. “He gets behind me and starts ramming me from behind.
“I’m trying to get away from him and he’s right on me, smashing me, smashing me — probably over 20 times he hit me.”
Issa said he sped up and was swerving through traffic when he decided to head for the Calgary Trail exit.
He passed a highway patrol officer, who later told him he clocked over 170 kilometres an hour when he passed.
He thought he had gotten away from the truck but his nephew warned him the truck was coming back.
“I pass by the highway patrol sheriff, honk my horn at him… The truck came like a barrel out of nowhere and just smashed me. If I was doing, like, 170, he was probably doing 220 or more.
“He hit me so hard the car went into emergency mode and it wouldn’t go anymore, it wouldn’t drive anymore.”
As his car slowed down, he was able to pull off to the exit for Calgary Trail. He said the truck pulled up and slowed down beside him, ultimately passing him then slamming on the brakes. The patrol car came around the corner and off the truck went, Issa said.
“It was terrifying. It was definitely terrifying. And having my nephew, I was just concerned about him and just getting out of the situation safely.
“If that officer didn’t pull up behind us at that moment, I don’t know what would have happened.”
Issa believes they were randomly targeted.
He said his car is totaled and he and his nephew are experiencing muscle pains from the collisions. He said he’s thankful and happy the police caught the driver immediately after the incident.
Police confirmed the suspect was arrested Wednesday morning. He has 17 outstanding warrants.
Following his arrest, the man was taken to hospital for precautionary reasons. The officers involved in the shooting were not injured.
A red Dodge Ram truck was towed from a lawn Wednesday morning in the area of 23 Avenue between 64 Street and 66 Street, near Mill Woods Town Centre.
A Global News crew at the scene said it appeared that the driver had driven the truck through a metal chain-link fence, over a lawn area and into a group of trees.
Residents of a nearby condo complex told Global News they believe the incident could have been much worse, as many children walk to school in the area. Had the trees not stopped the truck, it would have ended up in the yard of the condo complex.
Police confirmed the collision is linked to the carjacking incident that started earlier in the night but did not provide further details about the connection.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is now investigating.
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