For the eighth time this year, Calgary police are under investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team for an officer-involved shooting, this time in the southeast community of Dover.
At around 7:00 p.m., police in the 3800 block of 30 Avenue S.E. found a stolen vehicle driving in the area and radioed for help from HAWCS to track the Honda Civic.
As officers awaited HAWCS’ arrival, the suspect vehicle pulled into an alleyway in the area where it eventually stopped, prompting officers to exit their patrol vehicle and approach the suspect.
That’s when police say a confrontation took place between the officers and the suspect.
“Patrol members exited their vehicle and approached the suspect at which time a series of events occurred that resulted in one officer being dragged by the vehicle,” said CPS Chief Roger Chaffin on Thursday night.
As a result, the other officer opened fire on the suspect.
The officer who was dragged suffered minor injuries as a result and was taken to hospital for treatment.
The driver of the suspect vehicle, an unnamed 21-year-old man who is known to police, suffered a serious gunshot wound and was transported to hospital in non-life threatening condition.
Chaffin said that the incident highlights the danger that CPS officers are in on a regular basis.
“These things happen so fast and, again, we become all to accustomed to the fact that these things are happening more often than we’d like to see them happen. This year is a good example of just how many chaotic events our officers are getting involved in because of this wave of criminality we’ve been seeing.”
Chaffin said that the CPS is also struggling with a rise in the number of stolen vehicles in Calgary and the wave in thefts is creating a dangerous situation for officers.
“I think all too often our officers are put in harm’s way as we attempt to interact with these vehicles. Just today alone we saw three such events where we’ve uncovered loaded firearms and drugs in vehicles. They are becoming incredibly chaotic events. I am very proud of how our members handle these on a day-to-day basis but today is one of those situations where we were forced to get in a position to use our firearms to make a vehicle stop.”
Both of the officers involved in the incident are three-year members of the CPS. They will be given time to recover before they return to work.
The incident is the eighth officer-involved shooting in Calgary so far this year. Three of those have resulted in the death of a suspect.
Statistics show an upward trend in the number of police-involved shootings over the past three years.
In 2014, ASIRT was called in twice and the year after that, the agency was called to investigate three times. This year, there have been 10 officer-involved shootings in Alberta, with eight of those in Calgary.