RCMP justified 2021 shooting of man armed with bow and arrows at Red Deer hospital: ASIRT

Alberta’s police watchdog says Red Deer RCMP officers were justified in shooting an armed man outside the city’s hospital in 2021.

Alberta’s Serious Incident Response Team says a 46-year-old man, who was carrying a compound bow and arrow, was shot dead by police in the central Alberta town Alberta.

This happened around 9 p.m. on May 24, 2021, as police responded to reports of an errant driver, who then pulled alongside an officer who was parked in his marked police vehicle , near the Red Deer Regional Hospital parking lot.

“Unprompted, (the gunman) told (the officer) that he had a weapon and was going to the hospital. (The officer) immediately requested a*sistance from other officers while (the gunman) walked away in the direction of the nearby hospital,” the ASIRT report released Friday said.

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ASIRT said after the person entered the hospital parking lot, the officers and the man exited their vehicle.

The agency said the man refused to surrender his gun. Video recorded from both the RCMP patrol car and the hospital’s parking lot surveillance system captured the entire exchange, ASIRT said.

“I don’t want to shoot you, put it down, we can talk about it… put it down, talk to me… what’s going on?… we can talk about it…” the officer told the man. with bow and arrows, ASIRT said.

Other police officers arrived on the scene.

ASIRT said they continued to order the man to drop the compound bow. Instead of complying, he walked towards the officers and placed the bow in firing position, pointing it at several of the alternate subject officers.

The five officers then fired their weapons, firing a total of 28 rounds. The man was hit by four bullets and died instantly.

ASIRT Executive Director Mike Ewenson wrote in the report that while the loss of life was unfortunate, the man posed a threat to public safety and therefore the use of force by police was legal.

“Force intended to cause death or serious bodily harm is justified if the officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that the force was necessary to prevent the death or serious bodily harm of the officer and/or any other no one,” he said.

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“A compound bow is often used for hunting purposes and is capable of k*****g a large animal.”

Ewenson said the officers acted properly in carrying out their duties. He said there was no evidence to believe their actions were illegal or unreasonable and the case is closed.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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