CTV News Calgary Latest Videos
Calgary police say surge in use of deadly force a symptom of a deeper issue
Published Friday, November 25, 2016 6:49AM MST
Police shot and killed another man this week, the fourth death in a confrontation with officers in Calgary so far this year, but officials say the incident is indicative of a deeper issue.
CPS members have used their firearms in nine different incidents in 2016, three times as often as they did in 2015.
Police say the issue is connected to Alberta’s opioid crisis that is spurring an increase in the amount of car thefts.
Those thefts have led to dangerous confrontations between suspects and police that result in officers needing to employ deadly force to protect themselves and the public.
Julie Nixon, the owner of Loonie Plus in a Montgomery strip mall, the location of the latest deadly shooting, says she was shocked by the whole incident on Tuesday evening.
Nixon says she’s seen Terrance Wienmeyer, the 49-year-old man killed in the confrontation, in her store before.
In fact, he had just been in her store earlier that afternoon to buy cigarettes.
Surveillance video from Nixon’s shop clearly showed an unmarked police car pull in behind the stolen pickup truck that Wienmeyer was driving, followed quickly by two cruisers.
Once the truck tried to back out, hitting the police vehicle in the process, that’s when police took action, Nixon said.
“We seen all the cops jump on top of this guy – one on the side, one on the front – bang bang bang – shots were fired. Three, four shots, just like that.”
Nixon and her husband got their son to safety inside her store, but admit they were shaken by the incident.
Kelly Sundberg, a Calgary criminologist, says that the current crime trend is leading to these deadly encounters.
“Fentanyl-related crimes is increasing that violence, that dynamic of crime in the city. Officers have unfortunately had to use deadly force.”
Of the nine police shootings this year, Calgary police say in three cases, the suspect was armed with a gun and, in two, a knife.
In Wienmeyer’s case along with three others, police determined the deadly weapon was a vehicle.
Calgary police say they’ve responded to 4,000 reports of stolen vehicles so far this year.
(With files from Bill Macfarlane)