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Officer justified in shooting weapon at suspect near Spirit River: ASIRT

Alberta’s police watchdog has found that the use of lethal force by a Spirit River RCMP officer last spring was justified.

Around 3 p.m. On June 8th, 2016, the mountie was responding to reports of a possibly impaired driver on Highway 2 south of Woking. They found tracks in the mud and all over the road, and came across the pickup truck pulled over.

According to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team’s report, the driver suddenly drove across an intersection, through a ditch and back onto the road, where it hit the police vehicle’s front bumper. The officer got out of the cruiser and ran to the back, and saw the pickup moving towards him.

He fired one round at the driver through the passenger’s window, and the pickup turned around and drove off. The mountie tried to follow the suspect while reporting the incident over his radio, but had to stop due to the damage to his vehicle.

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The truck was later found burned out nearby and then-36 year old Nashon Jaron Osborne was later arrested and charged with several offences. No one was hurt.

ASIRT Executive Director Susan D. Hughson has concluded that since the officer was at “a very real risk of grievous bodily harm or death”, he was justified in shooting his gun. Although he was in an unmarked vehicle, the mountie was clearly identifiable as a police officer, and the cruisers’ flashing lights were on at the time.

Hughson adds that evidence at the scene support report that the truck came towards the back of the vehicle where the officer was standing. No charges will be laid against the officer.

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