July 12th, 2024

‘It’s never easy’: Suspect dead, police officer injured in Calgary shootout

By Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press on October 18, 2023.

A Calgary Police Service officer is shown in Calgary, Thursday, June 8, 2023.One person is dead and a police officer has been injured after an exchange of gunfire in Calgary's northeast. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – Flashing lights and police tape encircled a strip mall in northeast Calgary late Wednesday afternoon after a shootout that sent a police officer to hospital and left one suspect dead.

Police say tactical team officers were executing a high-risk warrant at McKnight Village, in the northeastern community of Falconridge, at about 1 p.m.

They say gunfire was exchanged when police attempted to make an arrest.

An officer was taken to hospital in stable condition while one of the suspects was declared dead at the scene. Another individual was taken into custody.

“It’s never easy when one of our own is hurt while answering the call to serve Calgarians each and every day,” acting Deputy Chief Cliff O’Brien said.

“Officers were executing a high-risk warrant. We can now share that the suspects were previously involved in other firearm-related offences, which is why our tactical unit was present for the arrest.”

Several police cars remained within the shopping mall parking lot. A bullet hole could be seen in the front window of a barber shop. The side window of a grey SUV, which was backed into a parking spot in front of the business, was shattered.

Two handguns were visible on the ground in front of the store.

“Everything took place within the parking lot,” O’Brien said.

“There were many witnesses to this brazen and unsettling incident. There are supports available for those people.”

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which looks into incidents or complaints involving serious injury or death that may have resulted from the actions of a police officer, has been called in to investigate.

O’Brien said the injured officer is an 11-year veteran of the force. He said fortunately he has already been released from hospital.

He said the shooting affects all officers.

“Addressing gun violence continues to be our priority. I can tell you it impacted all of our members who were there,” O’Brien said.

“No police officer starts their shift hoping for this type of incident. Nobody starts their shift hoping that a member of the public is dead at the end of an interaction, so we have to acknowledge that.

“Nobody starts their shift hoping they are going to get hurt … so there’s a lot of emotions going through this.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2023.

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