On Nov. 19, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a 19-year-old man that occurred that same day during contact with members of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS).
At about 1:21 a.m., an EPS officer was on foot and directing traffic in the eastbound lanes of Whitemud Drive, between the 17 Street overpass and Anthony Henday Drive. The officer was on a special duty assignment to assist with moving an oversized load on the freeway. While the officer was directing traffic, a white Hyundai failed to stop as requested and struck the officer. The Hyundai continued eastbound on Whitemud Drive. After the collision, a civilian witness operating the pilot vehicle that was accompanying the load followed the Hyundai until a marked EPS vehicle arrived and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The Hyundai lost control on a curve on 17 Street, just north of Ellerslie Road, and came to a stop in the ditch.
The driver of the Hyundai, the 19-year-old man, exited the vehicle with a firearm. The man did not comply with commands to drop the firearm, and instead fired a single gunshot, fatally injuring himself. Additional EPS members, along with EMS, attended to the location and provided first aid to the man, before ultimately transporting him to hospital where he was pronounced dead. The man’s firearm, a loaded sawed-off 9-mm carbine, was recovered from the scene. Additional ammunition was recovered from the man’s vehicle. A second occupant of the vehicle, which was later determined to be stolen, was not injured during the incident. At this time there is no evidence to suggest that any police officer discharged a firearm during this incident.
The EPS will maintain conduct of the investigation into the actions of the occupants of the Hyundai, while ASIRT’s investigation will examine the actions of police during this incident. With ASIRT’s investigation underway, no further information will be released at this time.