‘It’s extremely rare’: 2 officer-involved shootings in Calgary
Calgary police officers discharged a firearm in two unrelated incidents Saturday afternoon.
The first happened during a traffic stop near the Blackfoot Truckstop Diner. An hour later, an officer chased a suspect into Marlborough Mall and during the arrest both the officer and the suspect were seriously injured.
“It’s extremely rare,” said Acting Police Chief Trevor Daroux. “In fact having something like this occur in the middle of the afternoon is rare. Having two incidents occur in close proximity to each other, completely unrelated, is even more rare.”
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which investigates police-involved shootings in the province, will look into both events.
Gas leak shuts down roads
The first incident happened at about 1 p.m. following a traffic stop near the Blackfoot Truckstop Diner in southeast Calgary.
“When an officer approached the vehicle, the male driver was acting suspiciously,” said Daroux. “The officer noticed a rifle on the seat beside the male. The male was told not to move, however, he put the vehicle into reverse and attempted to flee the scene. The situation escalated and the officer discharged a firearm.”
The vehicle hit a gas metre and a power pole before coming to a stop. A gas leak led to an evacuation of the diner and several streets being shut down.
The driver had minor injuries, likely from broken glass, police said. Charges are pending against him and the female passenger.
Police officer with serious injuries
The second incident happened about an hour later inside Marlborough Mall. A police officer had followed a suspect into the mall after reports of a man with a weapon fighting with people outside.
“The offender turned to confront the officer, at which time the officer deployed his Taser, however it proved ineffective,” said Daroux. “A physical struggle then ensued when the man produced a large bladed weapon and severely injured our officer. The officer responded by discharging his firearm.”
The officer and the suspect were both taken to the Foothills hospital.
“The officer is stable but severely injured. Injuries with respect to edged weapons – it’s inches [from] where it could be fatal,” said Daroux. “This officer showed extreme courage and restraint and we are very fortunate that it wasn’t more serious than it is, and they are serious injuries.”
The suspect was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but police say he is now in stable condition.
‘Swinging around a machete’
The Marlborough Mall incident began on nearby a C-Train platform.
Kayla Perrin said she saw an altercation between four people – three men and a woman. One man pulled out a large knife, she said.
“He was swinging around a machete at them and chasing them,” she said.
“It looked like they were just fighting over … he had a tote bag or something with him and they were trying to pull it away from him or something.”
Police vehicles soon arrived. Perrin says she didn’t know exactly what happened once the man ran into the shopping mall.
Jewel Hermandez said she saw paramedics taking someone out of the mall on a stretcher.
“There were crowds of people swarming around trying to figure out what was going and the police weren’t saying anything,” she said.
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