An investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has found a Grande Prairie officer’s actions were justified in the fatal shooting of a teen early last year. The incident happened at the Mac’s Convenience Store on 84th Avenue around 1 a.m. on January 2nd, 2015.
A 19 year old man asked the clerk to call police and tell them they were being robbed. The man had what looked like a handgun in his waistband. When police had the store surrounded, the man told an officer over the phone that he wanted police to come inside, and if they didn’t shoot him, he would kill them with a loaded 9 millimetre Glock 19 handgun.
He agreed to let the clerk out safely, and roughly two minutes later, the man came out of the store and refused orders to drop the gun he appeared to have in his hand. The man pointed his gun at officers by a police vehicle 12 meters away, and believing he was going to shoot, a mountie fired shots, hitting him in his abdomen and both his right and left legs. RCMP performed first aid and the man was taken by EMS to hospital, where he died from blood loss.
An investigation determined that the weapon the man had was a realistic-looking replica handgun that was actually an unloaded pellet gun. ASIRT’s Executive Director has concluded that the evidence from the shooting shows the man wanted to die at the hands of police, and carefully orchestrated a situation that left officers with “little alternative but to respond with lethal force.” Susan D. Hughson has found that the police acted within the law when responding, and extend her condolences to the family of the young man.