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Suspected vehicle thief hospitalized after being shot by police in Auburn Bay
Published Friday, July 13, 2018 6:50AM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 14, 2018 1:27PM MDT
One person was taken to hospital after being shot by a member of the CPS TAC team during a Thursday evening investigation into vehicle thefts in the city’s southeast.
According to police, a stolen pickup truck was spotted in Ogden by members of the CPS auto theft resource team at approximately 4:30 p.m. and police spent about six hours tracking it as it travelled through the city.
"The vehicle, a Dodge Ram truck, had 2 occupants, a 20-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman, (who) were confirmed to have been involved in a series of car prowlings the day before," said CPS Deputy Chief Bob Ritchie. "In these car prowlings, there was a weapon involved."
With consideration for the possibility the suspects may be armed, the CPS tactical team was deployed and the HAWCS helicopter provided aerial surveillance of the suspect vehicle.
The Dodge Ram was tracked for approximately 4.5 hours before it arrived at a residence in Auburn Bay. Tactical Unit officers noted a number of people were gathered in the garage of the home and a decision was made to postpone the arrest of the two suspects until it was safe to do so. A spike belt was placed on the road a short distance from the home.
"At approximately 10:30 p.m., the two occupants of the Dodge Ram left the residence and drove over the spike belt which punctured the front right passenger tire," said Ritchie. "They continued to drive on the flattened tire for a short while before coming to a stop in the 0-100 block of Autumn View S.E."
A second vehicle that was at the residence, a Toyota Highlander that was also determined to have been stolen, arrived at the location where the Dodge Ram had stopped. The two suspects exited the Ram and entered the Highlander.
"This Highlander was being driven by a 33-year-old man," said Ritchie. "Two tactical members attempted to stop the Highlander from leaving the scene when a confrontation occurred. At this time, a tactical team member discharged his service firearm."
The Highlander stopped on Autumn Terrace. One suspect was arrested and transported to hospital in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries. The other two suspects attempted to flee the scene on foot but were apprehended a short time later. "Charges are pending against all three of these offenders."
No officers or members of the public, aside from the suspect, were injured during the incident. The officer who fired his weapon at the suspect vehicle is a 22-year veteran of the force and has been placed on a 30-day administrative leave. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team will be investigating the actions of the officer as is protocol for all instances where an officer shoots a suspect.
Police confirm the three suspects are known to police and vehicle thieves are a primary concern for the Calgary Police Service given the dangers stolen vehicles present to the public when utilized in the committing of other crimes.
"Although our officers are incredibly well trained, their response to stolen vehicles requires them to face dangerous and dynamic situations," said Ritchie. "I am incredibly proud of the work our officers do each and every day."
The incident in Auburn Bay came as a surprise to many residents iwho were startled by the sound of squealing tires and then they saw a number of suspects flee the vehicle before police got to the scene.
"We saw them take the one guy into an ambulance and I think they caught the other two by the condos over here," said Amber Graydon. She says she isn't sure why police were pursuing the suspects but the officers were very kind after the incident in her normally quiet community. "There's some excitement but I feel it could happen anywhere. I think we're more aware around here because of social media."
Victor Williams said he and few of his neighbours were out turning off their sprinklers when they noticed some police activity. "A few minutes later, there was a blue Ford that came speeding around the corner at a pretty high speed." He says he and his neighbours spotted the suspects running between some houses after they abandoned the vehicle. "The police told us to back away," Williams said. "There was still a passenger in the vehicle and we could hear him yelling."
Thursday's incident was the fifth time a Calgary Police Service member shot a suspect in 2018. Of the other four occurrences, three ended with the death of the suspect.
With files from CTV's Ina Sidhu