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Alberta

2 RCMP officers charged after ASIRT investigation into 2018 fatal shooting at Whitecourt

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Alberta Serious Incident Response Team ASIRT

This release is distributed by the Government of Alberta on behalf of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team.

RCMP officers charged following ASIRT investigation

On July 3, 2018, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding an RCMP officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of a 31-year-old man.

On July 2, 2018, a 31-year-old man was in a residence in Valhalla Centre when unidentified perpetrators attacked the residence and fired upon the occupants. While one occupant was injured during the incident, the 31-year-old man was able to flee the area in a very distinctive vehicle. As RCMP officers began to investigate the incident, they sought to locate and interview the man as a witness to the events and, indeed, as the possible intended victim.

On July 3, 2018, an off-duty RCMP officer observed what he believed to be the vehicle in question parked at the Chickadee Creek rest stop west of Whitecourt, and provided this information to nearby RCMP members.

Shortly after 12:15 p.m., officers attended the location and found the vehicle parked with what appeared to be one occupant asleep in the reclined driver’s seat. The officers approached the vehicle and a confrontation occurred, during which the vehicle was put into motion. One officer discharged a service pistol at the vehicle while a second officer discharged a carbine rifle. The vehicle left the rest stop, crossed the highway and entered a ditch a short distance away.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT) was called in to clear the scene and located the 31-year-old-man deceased in the driver’s seat, having sustained several gunshot wounds.

ASIRT conducted a thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident. Upon reviewing the evidence, ASIRT executive director Susan D. Hughson, Q.C., determined that the evidence was capable of providing reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence(s) had been committed and, accordingly, on Aug. 22, 2019, the completed investigation was forwarded to the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service (ACPS) for an opinion on whether the case met their standard for prosecution. On May 29, 2020, ASIRT received the completed final opinion. Having carefully reviewed the completed investigation and the provided position of the Crown, Ms. Hughson concluded that there were reasonable grounds to believe that criminal offences had been committed and that the two RCMP officers who discharged their firearms should be charged.

On June 5, Cpl. Randy Stenger and Const. Jessica Brown, both RCMP officers with the Whitecourt RCMP detachment, were arrested and each charged with one count of criminal negligence causing death in relation to the death of the 31-year-old man, Clayton Crawford, contrary to the provisions of the Criminal Code.

Both officers were released on an undertaking with conditions, including a prohibition from the possession of firearms, to appear in Whitecourt Provincial Court on July 14.

As these matters are now before the courts, ASIRT will not provide any further information in relation to these incidents.

ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently, and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

ASIRT

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Markstrom’s 32-save shutout lifts Calgary Flames to 3-0 win over Vancouver Canucks

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CALGARY — Jacob Markstrom’s 32-save shutout against his former club spurred the Calgary Flames to a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

Sean Monahan, Dillon Dube and Matthew Tkachuk scored power-play goals in Calgary’s home-opener, which was the first NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome since March 8, 2020 for a span of 10 months and eight days.

Canada’s NHL clubs are playing in empty arenas to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Vancouver goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 32 of 35 shots in the loss.

Flames off-season acquisitions Markstrom, defenceman Chris Tanev and forward Josh Leivo faced their former Canucks teammates Saturday.

Markstrom played a combined 243 regular-season and playoff games for Vancouver, while Tanev played 10 seasons and Leivo his last two for the Canuck.

Both Markstrom and Tanev made life difficult for their former club. Tanev led the Flames in blocked shots with seven including three when Calgary was short-handed. 

Former Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic returned to the Saddledome wearing Canuck colours.

Tkachuk had time to go backhand to forehand on a Johnny Gaudreau rebound at beat Holtby’s outstretched right pad at 15:16 of the third period.

Andrew Mangiapane sent a behind-the-back backhanded feed across the high slot for Dube to rifle over Holtby’s shoulder at 16:22 of the second.

The hosts killed off a Canucks two-man advantage for 81 seconds in the opening period. Markstrom turned away three shots and Tanev blocked two attempts during it.

Tkachuk on Holtby’s left fed Monahan in the slot for a power-play goal at 8:31.

The Canucks (1-2-0) played their third road game in four nights to start the regular season. They play again Monday in Calgary before returning to Vancouver. 

Calgary (1-0-1) has a more gentle start to its regular season with a five-day break following Monday’s rematch.

The Flames paid tribute to team president Ken King, who died March 11, and Calgary Police Service Sgt. Andrew Harnett who was killed while working New Year’s Eve.

Notes: Flames goaltender David Rittich dressed Saturday after sitting out the season-opener because of family issues . . . Off-season acquisition Dominik Simon made his Flames debut Saturday . . . Calgary is 9-8-3 in home openers since turn of the century.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Petry, Tatar each score a pair as Canadiens dominate Oilers 5-1

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EDMONTON — Jeff Petry and Tomas Tatar each scored twice Saturday to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-1 victory over the Oilers in Edmonton.

Jake Evans also scored for the Canadiens (1-0-1), while Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher both tallied a pair of assists.

Carey Price was nearly perfect on the night making 34 saves to give Montreal its first win of the season. 

Slater Koekkoek was the lone Oiler to sneak a shot past the Canadiens goalie midway through the third period. 

Mikko Koskinen stopped 30-of-35 shots for Edmonton (1-1-1). 

Montreal got on the board early and never relinquished the lead, though the Oilers attempted to claw their way back, outshooting the visitors 26-20 over the final two periods. 

Petry’s first of the night came on a power play 6:50 into the game after Edmonton’s Caleb Jones was called for interference. 

Koskinen stopped Petry’s initial shot but the rebound popped out to the other side of the net, where Petry fired the puck into the open goalmouth. 

Nick Suzuki and Shea Weber were each credited with an assist. 

Tatar widened Montreal’s lead just over two minutes into the second frame, ripping a shot slap shot from below the face off dot over Koskinen’s glove. 

Petry added another tally midway through the second period with a long shot from below the blue line that hit Oilers defenceman Ethan Bear in the rear end and bounced into Edmonton net. 

The Oilers nearly responded on a power play just minutes later thanks to a pristine shot by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but Price made the stop. 

The Canadiens came up with the puck, leading to a short-handed two-on-one at the other end. 

Evans waltzed in and took a shot that ricocheted off Koskinen’s pads and back to the centreman’s stick. His second attempt was a success, sailing in just below the crossbar to put Montreal up 4-0. 

Gallagher sprang Tatar on a breakaway 9:47 into the third period and the Slovak winger slipped a shot through Koskinen’s legs to give the Canadiens their fifth goal of the night. 

The Oilers finally got a puck past Price 12:59 into the third thanks to a sharp-angle shot by Koekkoek that hit the Montreal netminder’s mask and deflected in. 

Despite the final score, Edmonton was first to put a puck in the net Saturday. 

Three minutes into the first period, a collision between Leon Draisaitl and Montreal defenceman Ben Chiarot sent Price sprawling out of his crease. 

Edmonton’s Dominik Kahun took advantage of the situation and shovelled the puck into the open net. 

The goal was quickly called off, with officials on the ice ruling it was incidental contact on the Montreal netminder.

Oilers sensation Connor McDavid had an opportune chance near the end of the first frame, stealing the puck deep in Edmonton territory and using his infamous speed to streak down the ice on a breakaway. He unleashed a wrist shot but Price was ready and made the save. 

Edmonton will have an chance for revenge Monday when they once again host the Canadiens in the second half of the back-to-back series. 

NOTES: The Oilers claimed goalie Troy Grosenick off waivers from the L.A. Kings Saturday. Edmonton has also placed netminder Mike Smith on the long-term injury list. … Koskinen played in his 100th regular-season NHL game. … Edmonton right-winger Zack Kassian was out for the game following the birth of his second child, a daughter named Olivia.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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