Woman killed by Calgary police was armed with a pellet gun: ASIRT
CALGARY -- The provincial police watchdog is continuing to investigate a fatal police shooting that occurred Wednesday afternoon, but have identified the victim as a woman in her 20s.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was called to investigate an incident at the Nuvo Hotel in downtown Calgary at about 4 p.m. on March 3.
Officials say the Calgary Police Service had been called to a room on the third floor of the business, because of a woman who was reported to be in distress and threatened self-harm.
When police approached the room, ASIRT says a woman came to the doorway, but then went back inside.
A short time later, the woman returned to the doorway and appeared to be armed with a handgun.
"Further details regarding what the woman may have done with the handgun or what occurred thereafter are being withheld pending additional possible interviews," ASIRT wrote in a statement.
"However, shortly thereafter, two officers discharged their service pistols. The woman was struck and fell back into the room."
Officers then entered the room and found the victim on the floor. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
ASIRT says the victim's weapon, recovered at the scene, turned out to be a replica pellet pistol.
As the investigation remains ongoing, no further information will be released at this time.
Mark Neufeld, Calgary's chief of police, said there is no officer within the force who wants to use lethal force to resolve any issue they may come across while on the job.
"We hire great people and they choose this profession to help those in need," he said. "They always aim to communicate, de-escalate and achieve a peaceful resolution to events they attend."
Nevertheless, despite that training and effort by officers at the scene, the worst outcome may still occur, Neufeld said.
"A person died in this incident. That person had a family (and) friends who, today, are mourning the tragic loss of a loved one. On behalf of CPS, I extend my condolences to all of those who have been impacted by this incident."
Neufeld adds anyone who is in need of victim assistance in connection with the shooting can do so by contacting police.