The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team ruled Friday a Calgary police officer was justified in shooting a knife-wielding suspect during a 2017 arrest at a southwest convenience store.
The 22-year-old suspect was shot when he ran at officers while carrying a knife after barricading himself in a room inside a 7-Eleven store in the 4600 block of 37th Street S.W.
Police were called to the store just after 8 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2017 after a man, who wasn’t wearing a shirt, walked inside carrying a beer in one hand and a knife in the other, according to ASIRT.
He asked for a lighter from the clerk, who had dialed 911.
While the employee was talking to dispatchers, the man grabbed her cellphone and ran into a storage room.
A CPS officer then happened to come into the store to buy something and began talking to the man through a door, trying to get him to surrender. Additional officers responded and the store was evacuated.
The man continued to refuse to leave the room and at one point, started a fire inside.
He asked officers for a bottle of water and they convinced him to come out of the room to get it. When he did leave the room, still carrying the knife, officers used a Taser, which had no effect.
The man ran back into the room and again refused to come out.
By this time, the fire had disabled power to the store and the emergency lighting came on.
The man came out of the room once again, and officers again used a Taser, but it again had no effect and he ran back inside. By this point the fire had grown, forcing the man out of the room once again.
“This time, he came out holding the knife and ran toward the officers,” reads a release from ASIRT.
“An officer fired two rounds from his service pistol, striking the man in the shoulder.”
The man fell to the ground but began stabbing himself in the neck, so officers again used a Taser to get him to stop.
He did stop stabbing himself, but didn’t drop the knife, so a police dog was used to drag him into an open area, where he was disarmed by police.
“Officers carried the man out of the burning building to a waiting ambulance, which provided emergency care and transported him to hospital,” read the ASIRT release.
The man was treated for injuries, including burns to his back, chest and hands.
The man was later released from the Calgary Remand Centre, and on Dec. 23, 2017, he died “in circumstances unrelated to his contact with police,” according to ASIRT.
“The fact that he was high and in the midst of a mental health crisis did not make him less dangerous and, arguably, would make him more dangerous as he was not making rational decisions or choices,” ASIRT said in the release.
The officer who shot the man declined to provide a statement to ASIRT investigators, which is his right.